AfDB Approves US$ 1.5 Billion Budget Support for Botswana to Help Country Cope with the Financial Crisis

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Tunis, June 2, 2009 - The African Development Bank (AfDB) approved today a loan of 1.5 billion US$ for Botswana, one of the best managed economies in Africa.  The loan falls within the framework of the recently approved strategy by the Bank to provide support to member countries affected by the financial crisis and is the largest such facility ever granted by the Bank.  The Budget Support Loan is designed to fill part of the gap in the government’s 2009/2010 budget deficit currently estimated at 13.5% of GDP caused by falling commodity prices, particularly diamonds.

“The case of Botswana illustrates the impact that the financial crisis is having on even the best managed economies in Africa.  I am delighted that the Bank has been able to respond quickly and flexibly in this “unique case” within the Bank’s framework of response to the financial crisis”, said Donald Kaberuka, the President of the Bank.

The crisis which is affecting African countries through different channels is increasing demands for support from the international financial institutions including the Bank.

This is the first such borrowing by Botswana in 17 years, from the Bank.  Previously Botswana had in fact several times contributed to the replenishment of the African Development Fund (ADF), the soft window of the Bank Group.