Kenyan judge, Burundian win AfDB accountability award


African Development Bank headquarters. PHOTO | COURTESY

A Kenyan judge and a Burundian official have been named inaugural winners of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Independent Recourse Mechanism (IRM) 2022 Accountability in Action Awards.

The two were recognised for their contributions to accountability in sustainable development in Africa through engagement in the IRM’s complaints-handling process.

Kenyan High Court judge Prof Nixon Sifuna was feted for his role in representing more than 500 people affected by an AfDB-funded Kapenguria-Makutano Towns Sewerage Project at the IRM, which led to the relocation of the project site from Kapenguria to Makutano.

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Burundi’s Director of Road Agency Prof Regis Mpawenayo, played a key role in resolving a complaint related to the AfDB-financed Nyakararo-Mwaro-Gitega Road Upgrade and Asphalting Project/Phase II – Kibumbu-Gitega (Mweya) Segment (24km) road project.

His actions “helped to create trust between the parties and reinforce the importance of accountability in resolving conflicts,” AfDB said.

The IRM provides recourse for individuals, workers and communities negatively impacted by bank-financed projects.

The bank said nominees were reviewed based on the demonstrated and sustained contribution to accountability and fairness when addressing stakeholder-driven issues related to the impact of AfDB projects on communities, integrity, commitment to marginalised people, dedication to amplifying the voices of others, and collaboration and cooperation.

“The award is a recognition of the critical role that accountability plays in sustainable development. By acknowledging the commitment to accountability demonstrated by individuals and organisations, the Accountability in Action Awards helps to ensure that the rights of project-affected people are upheld,” the bank said.