AfDB president expresses optimism for African economies

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AfDB President Donald Kaberuka hosted the annual new year lunch for ambassadors of AfDB member states at the Movenpick Hotel in Gammarth, Tunis on Monday 23 January.

Mr Kaberuka told the envoys that AfDB was financially healthy despite the economic crisis, and that its policies remained sound and prudent. The president said that the bank was still able, despite tough market conditions, to access capital very competitively. He underscored the institution’s successful issuance of a USD1 billion, five-year bond deal earlier this month.  He said that total bank financial support for African development in 2011 amounted to USD6.2 billion.

President Kaberuka expressed optimism for African economies, despite the dire economic times and the on-going Eurozone crisis, which was having a particular impact on North African countries. The North African region, he said, was passing through a critical phase and very much needed the continued support of the international community. AfDB, he said, would work hard to ensure that it helped restore full economic confidence in the region.

The president welcomed the clear signs that the Tunisian government had given about its future – that of a stable, structured government with a coherent plan for going forward.

Mr Kaberuka highlighted inclusive growth as a major factor in the stability of Africa, especially in the face of so much social inequality, which he said still prevailed. He also spoke about the importance of responsible green growth as Africa broached the daunting challenges of climate change. Mr Kaberuka equally stressed the need for good governance and the importance of sound, transparent management of natural resources.

The AfDB president said that there would be many African presidential elections on the continent in 2012, which called for the absolute need to avoid post-electoral violence and ensure transparent management of post-electoral processes.