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The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, held meetings with Prime Minister Paul Kaba Thieba of Burkina Faso in Abidjan on Friday, where he promised to support the country's national development plan.
Burkina Faso's National Plan for Economic and Social Development (PNDES) 2016-2020, focuses on the structural transformation of the country's economy and the welfare of its people
"Burkina Faso has immense potential in agriculture. We have to focus on agriculture as a business. It is at the heart macro-economic stability," Adesina said during the meeting with the Prime Minister, his delegation and senior Bank officials.
He advised on the need to focus on agriculture, energy and road corridors to open up the land-locked country and attract the private sector to develop agro-poles and agricultural value chains. This will make it possible to transform livestock products such as milk and butter and cotton to textile, thereby creating gainful employment and booting the economy.
President Adesina also mulled the possibility seeking support from partners to finance a robust programme for Sahelian countries beset by a wide range of problems related to security, unemployment and environmental degradation.
He urged the setting up of an agri-business Bank rather than and agricultural Bank to leverage the country's huge potential in the sector to finance value chain development and scale up production of agro-industrial goods.
Earlier, Prime Minister Thieba highlighted the core focus of PNDES as a framework which provides guidance for the economic and social development of Burkina Faso for the period 2016-2020. He said it was based on the Presidential programme, the 2025 vision for Burkina and a global plan for sustainable development.
The plan focuses on political and economic governance aimed at reforming and modernizing public administration and institution, human capital development, boosting viable economic sectors, such as agriculture and livestock farming through the development of value chains for jobs creation, to the tune of 50,000 productive jobs per year.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister, Alpha Barry, the Economy, Finance and Development Minister, Hadzatou Rosine Coulibaly, and the Executive Director for Burkina Faso at the Bank, Martine Mabiala, among other top government officials.
Bank officials at the meeting included the Secretary-General, Vincent Nmehielle, Sibry Tapsoba of the Transition Support Department, Kodeidja Diallo of the Private Sector Department and Kapil Kapoor, of the Financial Sector Development Policy And Strategy Department, among others.
The AfDB began operations in Burkina Faso in 1972. Its current portfolio in the country comprises 15 projects and programmes worth US $468.21 million (UA 340.80 million).