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The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Donald Kaberuka, this week made an official visit to the Nordic member countries of the Bank Group to discuss the institution’s Strategy 2013-2022, its transformation agenda and the impeding return of the Bank to its headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, among other issues.
On the occasion, President Kaberuka discussed the forthcoming 13th replenishment of the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessionary loan window of the Group financed by its Non-Regional Member Countries that includes the Nordic countries – Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
During the visit to Denmark on Wednesday, August 28, Kaberuka attended a dinner-discussion on the theme “Growth in Africa including Nigeria”, hosted by the country’s Trade and Investment Minister, Pia Olsen Dyhr; European Affairs Minister, Nick Hækkerup; and Thomas Bustrup Bustrup, Director, Federation of Danish Industries.
He also held discussions with the Danish Development Cooperation Minister, Christian Friis Bach, on topical issues including Africa’s development situation, ADF replenishment, green and inclusive growth, gender equality, and fragile states.
The highpoint of the Denmark visit was the announcement of a DKK 10 million (about US $1.8 million) contribution to the Agriculture Fast Track Fund to Spur Investment in Africa.
The Agriculture Fast Track Fund is a US$ 26.8-million first-of-its-kind fund set up to spur greater private investment in agriculture infrastructure projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Danish Government’s support complements contributions from Agricultural Fast Track founding donors including USAID, which has committed $15 million, and the Government of Sweden, which has pledged $10 million. The fund is managed by the African Development Bank.
In Oslo on Thursday, August 29, 2013, Norway announced its support to the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) through a contribution of NKK 30 million (approximately US $4.9 million). The grant serves as Norway’s core contribution towards financing the ALSF’s Medium Term Strategy 2013-2017.
Norway’s support to the Facility follows the call by the G8 Summit held at Lough Erne, Ireland in June 2013 for financial support to ALSF, in recognition of the technical assistance that the Facility provides to African governments by strengthening their capacity negotiate natural resources contracts.
The ALSF was established by African governments to assist in the negotiation of complex commercial transactions, vulture fund litigation, and capacity building.
On the third leg of the visit in Stockholm, Sweden, on August 30, President Kaberuka held meetings with International Development Cooperation Minister, Gunilla Carlsson; Swedish Finance Minister, Anders Borg; and Swedish business leaders.
Finally, President Kaberuka and his delegation travelled to Helsinki, Finland, for meetings with Finnish Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Anne Sipiläinen as well as representatives of banking institutions and academia.
Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland joined the Bank at the inception of ADF in 1982. They also support the Group’s funding projects and programs through a series of multi-donor and bilateral trust funds including the Nordic Trust Fund for Governance, among others.