As part of its dialogue with civil society, the EIB organized a Workshop for NGOs in Johannesburg on 21 April 2005. The Johannesburg Workshop is part of a series of regional, in principle twice-yearly meetings the Bank has held with NGOs since 2001. Given the interest shown by NGOs in the recent years in the Bank's role in sustainable development, the workshop took place for the first time outside the EU, in Johannesburg (RSA), to provide EIB staff and Southern NGOs with a platform to discuss topics of common interest and to learn about each others' objectives and activities.
The agenda of the Workshop was drawn up in co-operation with interested NGOs. EIB and NGOs both delivered presentations. The Workshop was chaired by EIB Vice-President Peter Sedgwick, Member of the Bank's Management Committee with responsibility for EIB's relations with NGOs. The participants were also given a pre-workshop background briefing on the EIB.
In addition to the plenary meeting, EIB staff and NGO representatives held informal bilateral talks.
Participants totalled 34 people, including 19 delegates mainly from South African development and environmental organizations, but also from the neighbouring countries. Observers from the EU Delegation, the World Bank's Office for the SADC region, and SA intermediary banks (IDC and DBSA), also attended the workshop.
The second 2005 workshop is planned in Autumn 2005 in Rome.