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The AfDB Group in North Africa 2011
Geographically defining the northern rim of the continent, North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia) constitutes a central part of Africa as well as the history and the daily operations of the African Development Bank (AfDB). The countries of the region were thus instrumental in the creation of the AfDB more than 45 years ago and are now contributing nearly 20 percent of the Bank’s subscribed capital. Since the beginning of its operations in 1966, the Bank Group has committed nearly US$25 billion in loans and grants to North Africa, consistently aimed at supporting the people of the region in their endeavors to develop and modernize their economies, and improve their living conditions.
Producing about one-third of Africa’s total GDP and the home of nearly 170 million people, North Africa is today the most prosperous region on the continent and occupies a geopolitical position that goes significantly beyond its economic weight. Most recently, during the first months of 2011, the region has also become the epicenter of social and political change—and thus, with Tunisia as the forerunner, become the inspiration for millions of people in the Middle East and the world over. Against the backdrop of relatively strong economic performance and solid progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, the Tunisian revolution and the contagion in other countries in North Africa came as a surprise to most observers, inside and outside the region.