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Tunis, December 15, 2008 – Relations between the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and Libya entered a new phase following a meeting between the AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka, and Libyan Leader, Muammar Qaddafi, on December 14, 2008, in Tripoli.
Discussions between both men focused on African integration and the means of achieving it. The Libyan leader used the occasion to express satisfaction with actions by the AfDB and its president, and urged the institution to continue making significant contributions to the continent’s development with the same efficiency. He expressed confidence in the Bank’s capacity to play a leading role in major pan-African infrastructure projects such as the Libya-Agades-Zender (Niger) highway and the Inga hydroelectric project in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the preservation of Lake Chad. He urged African countries to wisely manage their debt. "Each dollar borrowed must be invested in development projects in order for the debt to be paid off," he said.
Mr. Kaberuka, for his part, expressed his gratitude to the Libyan leader for his country’s strong commitment to the continent’s integration. He said that the similarity between their perspectives on African development was likely to strengthen and expand the partnership between the AfDB and Libya. He recalled that Bank Group and Libyan experts were examining concrete possibilities relating to financial resources management, an area in which the Bank could offer its expertise. Mr. Kaberuka also outlined recent initiatives by the AfDB to help the continent deal with the current food and financial crises. He pointed out that the AfDB had not been affected by the financial crisis because the institution had carefully managed its resources.
The quality of the discussions was strengthened by the cordial atmosphere which marked the discussions.
On the sidelines of the meeting with the Libyan leader, the AfDB President and his delegation met with Libya’s Finance Minister and AfDB Governor for Libya, Mohamed Ali Huwej; Libyan Central Bank Governor, Farhat Bengdara; as well as with the Libya Africa Investment Portfolio (LAIP) Fund Chairman, Bachir Saleh, and other senior officials of this institution.