AfDB President Visits Cameroon

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group President, Donald Kaberuka, was on May 22, 2007, received in audience by Cameroon’s President, Paul Biya.

Mr. Kaberuka used the occasion to inaugurate the Bank’s new regional office in Cameroon and later announced a CFAF 22 billion grant to the Central African country to finance the Limbe shipyard project. The opening of an office in Yaoundé falls within the framework of institutional reforms at the Bank.

Speaking about the visit, Cameroon’s finance minister, Polycarpe Abah Abah, indicated that the visit made it possible to lay a solid foundation for reinforced and accelerated cooperation with a view to fighting poverty in the country, adding that the acceleration of economic growth required infrastructure capacity building and the development of the private sector.

Cameroon is a regional member country of the Bank Group and the institution has invested CFAF 840 billion to finance 58 projects in the country, with 40 of the projects already completed and 17 under implementation, while one will soon be signed.

The distribution of projects per sector is as follows: 30.35% in agriculture, 28.14% in the social sector, and 27.42% in capacity building.

"This sector-wide distribution reflects the strategic options of the AfDB and the Cameroonian government for development support to sectors with a major impact on poverty reduction, in particular increased agricultural production and improved social services," Kaberuka explained.

In 2000, the AfDB granted Cameroon CFAF 59 billion worth of debt alleviation, and 48 billion in 2006. Meanwhile, Cameroon has received a total of CFAF 26 billion from the AfDB in three operations under the Additional Financing Mechanism set up by the Bank in 1997 to enable countries ineligible to its counter to pay their debt interests.

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