10th Summit of the African Union-President Kaberuka Raises Kenya Crisis with President Mwai Kibaki
Addis-Ababa, 1 February 2008 - The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Donald Kaberuka, held a series of meetings with several African Heads of State on the sidelines of the 10th Summit of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Mr. Kaberuka reiterated the availability of the Bank to support its partners in their development programmes.
He emphasized the immense need for African countries to consolidate the gains achieved in these past years by devoting their efforts to strengthening governance, peace and stability.
During his meeting with President Mwai Kibaki, Mr. Kabeuka spoke at length on the prevailing situation in Kenya and suggested possible ways of ending the crisis in the country.
The African Development Bank had, in a joint statement with the World Bank, at the onset of the conflict, expressed concern regarding the crisis and its economic repercussions. "By our early estimates," the two institutions warned, "The current situation could drive 2 million Kenyans into poverty, reversing the gains made over the last few years".
In as much as they were convinced that "Only Kenyans can provide a viable long term solution," the two institutions expressed their willingness to "support efforts by Mr. Kofi Annan and his team, under the African Union initiative, to bring all parties together to make credible and visible progress toward quick and peaceful reconciliation."
Meanwhile, the African Union Summit reiterated the urgency to find a solution to the Kenyan crisis through dialogue by providing support to the mediation process began by the outgoing African Union Chairperson, President John Kufuor of Ghana, and now being pursued by the former United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan.
In addition to his participation in the AU Summit, President Kaberuka held a series of working sessions with African leaders -- Presidents Thomas Boni Yahi of Benin, Froncois Bozize of the Central African Republic, Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi, Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, Armando Emilio Guebuza of Mozambiqque and Amadou Toumani Toure of Mali. He also met with Prince Willem Alexander of Orange, The Netherlands, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, World Bank President, Robert Zoellick, and the Director-General of the FAO, Jacques Diouf.