AfDB 2008 Annual Meetings End in Maputo

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The Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group ended on Thursday, May 15, 2008, in Maputo, Mozambique, after two days of exhaustive deliberations and approval of the Group’s annual report, as well as its operational programmes for 2008.

Major highlights of the 2008 Annual Meetings were the admission of Turkey as a non-regional member, the extension of the duration of the Nigeria Trust Fund for 10 years, and the establishment of a special Fund for Reconstruction and Development of the Great Lakes Region.

Speaking during the closing ceremony, Bank Group President, Donald Kaberuka, thanked the government and people of Mozambique for hosting the meetings. He also thanked Presidents Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo and Emilio Armando Guebuza of Mozambique for finding time to attend the event.

The Bank, he said, would craft a new strategic vision aimed at better serving middle income countries, responding best to agriculture-related issues, adding that the institution was looking forward to playing a greater role in fragile states.

Mr. Kaberuka used the occasion to reiterate his satisfaction with donor response to the food crisis. He said he was delighted with Turkey’s joining of the Bank Group which is proof of the growing confidence in the institution as the ideal channel of development resources to the continent.

A statement by AfDB Governors stressed that the 2008 Annual Meetings had been held in a context marked by a sudden rise in oil prices and a record rise in food prices which had created tensions in many African countries. They called for a swift mobilization with a view to providing much-needed assistance to African countries affected by the food crisis.

The governors also welcomed the conclusions of the independent high level panel and expressed satisfaction with the replenishment of the ADF-XI. They congratulated Turkey’s accession to Bank Group membership which makes the country, the 78th member of the institution.

The governors reaffirmed that the headquarters of the Bank Group would remain in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. They said that the temporary relocation of the Bank’s activities in Tunis had been extended for 12 months from 3 June 2008. Commending the progress made by the host country towards achieving peace and stability, they directed the boards of directors to closely monitor the situation in the host country.

President Kaberuka announced that the next Annual Meetings would be held in Dakar, Senegal. Mr. Kaberuka also informed participants that the institution would soon have offices in Luanda, Angola, and Algiers, Algeria, adding that negotiations were under way with South African authorities on the establishment.

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