OUAGADOUGOU, December 16, 2009—Sixteen Parliamentarians from around the world, from November 29 to December 4, visited Burkina Faso to learn from the country’s development practitioners and government agencies among other things, how the country is maintaining development efforts in the face of the global financial crisis.
The delegates, from Asia, Africa, America and Europe, were led by Honorable Ndèye Fatou Touré, MP from Sénégal; and Honorable François Loncle, President of the French/Burkina Working Group at the National Assembly of France. Ms. Touré also is a Board member of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank which helped facilitate the trip.
During the visit, the delegates focused on four themes:
- The impact of the global financial crisis on Burkina Faso’s economy/development
- Decentralization and social accountability
- Mining/extractive industries revenue management
- The impact of reforms on improving the investment climate
As part of the visit, delegates visited projects—in Ouagadougou and in outlying areas including Ziga and Zignaré—supported by the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA).
They participated in several meetings with key stakeholders—private sector representatives and civil society—as well as in working sessions with the Burkinabe Parliament's finance committee and the PNoWB local chapter.
The delegates also paid a courtesy visit to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Roch Marc Kaboré, and on the final day of the visit, had a unique opportunity to share their impressions on the country's development efforts with Burkina’s Prime Minister Tertius Zongo.
“I now realize how important it is for our countries to channel development aid through the World Bank,” said Canadian MP Dave Wilson who was visiting Africa for the first time. “Burkina Faso needs not only the funds but expertise from the World Bank which works with local and international experts in the field to meet the needs of the most vulnerable populations.”
“I will pledge for more support for Africa through the World Bank in my own country,” Wilson added.
World Bank Country Manager for Burkina Faso Galina Satirova welcomed the visit and stressed the importance of Parliamentarians being aware of the Bank's work at the country level.
“As representatives of the people we are serving, your feedback is the essential social assessment we need,” she told a delegation of local MPs who participated along with the international MPs.
Hon. Fatoumata Diendéré from Burkina Faso, Chair of the local chapter of the PNoWB, thanked the World Bank for its efforts in the country and quoted a local proverb.
“When someone graciously washes your back it is your duty to wash your face,” she said, stressing that Burkina's development should be country owned and the responsibility of all Burkinabes.
In addition to the PNoWB, the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD), and the Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF) also partnered on recruiting participants for the visit.