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The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Akinwumi Adesina, has been elevated to the rank of Grand Officer in the Order of Merit of the Republic of Niger on behalf of the President of the Republic, Issoufou Mahamadou, during a gala dinner hosted by Nigerien Prime Minister Brigi Rafini at the Gaweye Hotel in Niger’s capital, Niamey.
The award was bestowed on the AfDB President during a two-day official visit to the Sahelian country.
“I am both surprised and very touched by the honor you have given me. I ask you to convey to his Excellency the President of the Republic my deepest thanks,” said the President of the premier African financial institution before an audience of members of the Government, high-ranking accredited ambassadors and diplomatic staff, the Bank’s Executive Director to Niger, Martine Mabiala, and the AfDB Director General for West Africa, Janvier Litse.
The award was in recognition of Adesina's visible and tireless commitment to the rapid economic development of the African continent through the implementation of the Bank's priorities as set out in the High 5s: Light up and power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa and Improve the quality of life of the people of Africa.
"These High 5 priorities are in line with Niger's development priorities," said the Nigerien President, after listing them in front of the AfDB President during an audience earlier the same day at the Presidential Palace in Niamey.
"The African Development Bank will continue to finance many other projects in Niger, particularly in agriculture and energy," said Adesina.
Since December 17, 1970, the African Development Bank has been actively involved with Niger in a variety of projects, with a total funding amounting to US $1.4 billion as of August 31, 2017, (nearly 840 billion CFA francs) largely for rural development.
The Bank's active portfolio in Niger comprises 15 projects totaling US $510 million, distributed as follows: 44% in rural development, 20% in transport, 14% in multi-sectoral projects, 12% in water and sanitation, and 10% in the social sector.