AfDB and Mali Sign CFAF 23 Billion Budget Support Loan Agreement

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AfDB and Mali Sign CFAF 23 Billion Budget Support Loan Agreement

Tunis, 15 October 2008 – The African Development Bank Group and the Malian government have signed an agreement for a budget support loan of 33 million Units of Account (UA*), about CFAF 23 billion to finance the country’s Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Support Programme (GPRSSP).

The agreement for the African Development Fund (ADF) loan was signed on Monday in Tunis by the Bank Group’s Vice President for Sector Operations, Zeinab El-Bakri and Mali’s Ambassador to Tunisia, M’Barakou Arafa Askia Toure.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mrs. El-Bakri underlined the fact that the budget support loan would, in particular, help create conditions for better implementation of the General Budget Support Programme for Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategic Framework (GPRSF 2007-2011).

In this regard, improved management and viability of the cotton sector, a better public finance control system and transparency in public procurement management were among the target objectives of the programme, Mrs. El-Bakri said.

The programme also envisages the establishment of transparent procedures, training and retraining programmes, and appropriate technologies to improve local financial governance; continuation and acceleration of state reforms concerning decentralization as well as improving the living condition of the population.

"I would like to seize this opportunity to emphasize the importance the Bank attaches to the thorough implementation of the reform measures," she said, adding, "It is a precondition for the enhancement of our development impact and poverty reduction."

For his part, Ambassador Touré expressed the gratitude of the government and people to the AfDB for it important and constant support, noting that the funding proved that the Bank Group was, and remained Mali’s preferred development partner.

The Bank Group started operations in Mali in 1970.  The loan brings its active operations in the country to UA 371 million, about CFAF 256 billion, Mrs. El-Bakri said, noting that the magnitude of the institution’s commitment bore testimony to the excellent cooperation between the two sides.

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