James Wolfensohn: “Africa in a Global World: Partnerships for Success” - Closing Remarks by the AfDB President Donald Kaberuka

25/04/2008
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Event: Eminent Speakers Program – James Wolfensohn

Mr. Wolfensohn has demonstrated once again why indeed he is well suited to speak to us within the framework of this our Eminent Speakers Program. I wish to thank him for an excellent presentation, which I believe has challenged and enlightened us.

The deliberations have emphasized the critical importance of partnerships for Africa to achieve economic growth and sustainable development, within the complexities of the challenges and opportunities provided by globalization. Mr. Wolfensohn’s presentation underscored the need for African countries to build and nurture cooperation initiatives with non-traditional partners, and to examine and redefine the existing cooperation arrangements with existing partners.

I would like to underscore one of the major conclusions of the discussions: that given the current growth and development requirements, the current numerous isolated national programs will have to be consolidated through a combination of actions at the continental or sub-regional level, in order to improve their results and impacts. This conclusion falls in line with the long held position of the African Development Bank.

The African Development Bank has indeed been advising the RMCs on how to harness opportunities for partnerships in the global arena for financing regional infrastructure projects, and multinational programmes. However, there is no doubt that the exchanges of this morning have been an eye-opener and informative. They have provided new perceptions to our understanding of the pivotal role of meaningful partnerships (whether at the bilateral, multilateral, technological and/or cultural levels) in the socioeconomic development our people in general, and also in laying a solid foundation for rapid economic growth.

Mr. Wolfensohn, I can assure you that during our regular process of policy review and formulation, we will accord due consideration to your suggestions and valuable thoughts. We have learnt a lot from you in this short time, for which I convey sincere appreciation of the Bank. Again, I express my gratitude to Mr. Wolfensohn, and thank you all for your participation.