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Tunis, 11 September 2009 – Benin Republic President, Boni Yayi arrived in Tunis on Thursday September 10, heading a strong ministerial delegation on a working visit to the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group. During the visit, the delegation will, among other issues, discuss the impact of the financial crisis on the country and possible areas for expanded cooperation with the Bank’s senior management.
Mr. Yayi and Bank Group President, Donald Kaberuka, will review the country’s performance in the context of the global economic crisis and explore target areas where Bank support would boost its development efforts. Key areas of focus includes energy, agriculture, road infrastructure, primary and secondary education, micro-credit, trade, health and low-cost housing.
Following his election in April 2006, President Yayi is focused on achieving accelerated and sustainable economic growth with a view to transforming Benin into an emerging economy, mainly through good governance, promotion of private sector activities, development of economic infrastructure, and support to grassroots development.
The government has prepared a framework to provide all stakeholders with the required benchmarks for action. It is also preparing Strategic Development Guidelines for 2006-2011, with a view to realizing the vision to transform Benin into an emerging country.
The Beninese President recently commended the AfDB Group’s significant support to his country in the past three decades, adding that the country would rely on the financial institution for greater support as it embarks on a series of reforms aimed at accelerating economic growth and, in particular, strengthening the role of the private sector.
“Our ambition is to make Benin an emerging country that will eventually become a service hub in the sub- region,” the former President of the West African Development Bank emphasized.
The Bank Group commenced operations in Benin in 1972. Since then, the institution has approved 81 operations with net commitments of approximately CFAF 595 billion. The Bank has financed one project in the country’s private sector –a refined cotton oil production project which started in 2000.
President Donald Kaberuka made an official visit to Benin in March 2008.
*1 UA (Units of Account) = 1.6606 US$ = 719.782 FCFA as at 01/09/2009