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The President of the African Development Bank, (AfDB), Donald Kaberuka whose mandate ends on 31 August 2015, paid a farewell visit to Tunisia’s President Béji Caïd Essebsi on Friday. He expressed the Bank’s gratitude to the Tunisian government and people for the hospitality the Bank received during its relocation to Tunis from 2003 to 2014.
"We are very grateful for what Tunisia has done for the African Development Bank," he said.
The Tunisian President in turn thanked Kaberuka for his visit and paid tribute to the AfDB's unwavering support to his country. President Essebsi also expressed his best wishes for the Bank's success and emphasized the crucial role it plays in promoting the development of the continent.
Kaberuka also took the opportunity to reiterate AfDB’s support to Tunisia, particularly at this crucial period when the country is facing many challenges. He stressed that the AfDB will continue to support Tunisia to implement its development programmes for the benefit of all, particularly the young.
Kaberuka also met Prime Minister Habib Essid who expressed the government’s determination to strengthen economic growth in spite of the security problems faced by the country. The AfDB president was accompanied by a delegation including the Executive Director for Tunisia, Abdelmajid Mellouki.
AfDB plans to invest some two billion dinars in 2015 and 2016 to support growth and job creation in Tunisia. It is also working on a new support package to be disbursed before the end of 2015.
This operation will focus on reducing regional disparities, developing the workforce and promoting the private sector and SMEs. A long-standing partner of Tunisia, the AfDB financed its very first project there in 1968. And Tunisia is one of the three biggest beneficiaries of AfDB financing. The Bank's portfolio in Tunisia amounts to nearly US$1.17 billion or approximately 2.3 billion Tunisian dinars.