Wednesday, 28 September 2022

African Development Bank announces bold measures to curb coronavirus

The African Development Bank announced health and safety measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus in countries where it has a presence, including its headquarters in Abidjan.

The measures include telecommuting, video conferencing in lieu of physical meetings, suspension of visits to bank buildings and cancellation of all travel, meetings and conferences, until further notice.

The bank’s president, Akinwumi Adesina, made the announcements at a bank-wide virtual Town Hall meeting from the institution’s headquarters in Abidjan. He stated that the measures were being taken in the best interest of public health and safety.

“My primary responsibility is to you, to make sure you are safe, to make sure your families are safe, to make sure you can function where you are under the best possible conditions health and security-wise,” Adesina said. 

The bank’s president said all efforts are being made to ensure the continuity of the bank's operations, including electronic documentation and approvals. All bank staff worked from home on Wednesday, 18 March, to test-run IT systems.

The bank has taken several other steps to counter an escalation of the virus, including a 14-day self-quarantine for employees returning from high-risk countries. Other multilateral institutions in Asia, Europe and Latin America have taken similar actions to prevent the spread of the virus.

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in December 2019, the bank closely monitored the situation through its medical centre, emergency management team as well as operational and executive crisis committees. The staff are regularly provided with medical guidance and preventive measures are in place to protect the staff and families from contamination by the virus.

A three-level COVID-19 response plan was also developed to avert, manage and mitigate the effect of the pandemic on the bank’s staff and their families, while ensuring business continuity in the event of an escalation of the situation on the continent. 

“Please do not panic. Measures are being taken. The situation deserves that we change how we work and where we work from,” Adesina said.

The bank's board of directors is reviewing the configuration and design of the bank's statutory annual meetings originally scheduled for 26-29 2020 in Abidjan.

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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