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AfDB President on Official Visit to Togo: prospects to revive cooperation

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group President, Donald Kaberuka, will be on an official visit to Togo from February 29-March 1, 2008. The visit is Mr. Kaberuka’s first to the country since assuming office in September 2005 as the Pan-african institution’s president. He will be received by Togo’s President, Faure Gnassingbe, and will be meeting with the country’s Prime Minister, Komlan Mally. Mr. Kaberuka will have a working session with the Togolese finance minister, and AfDB governor for Togo, Ayassor Adji Otèth. Mr. Kaberuka will use the occasion to discuss with many development partners and visit some major infrastructure projects the Bank Group is carrying out in the country.

The visit is an opportunity for Mr. Kaberuka to reaffirm the Bank Group’s commitment to help Togo in its efforts to normalize its socio-political and economic life since the signing of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) in August 2006. The Togolese economy recorded positive economic growth rates of 2% in 2006 and 2.2% in 2007. Inflation declined in 2006 and 2007 below the 3% threshold set by the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the country’s public finances have considerably improved.

Mr. Kaberuka will, during his visit, discuss the possibility of reviving cooperation ties between the Bank Group and Togo with the country’s authorities, especially through a new instrument, Fragile States Facility (FSF), put in place by the Bank Group. The FSF is an additional financing mechanism designed for fragile states on the continent. The FSF expresses the Bank Group’s resolute commitment to help fragile states return to the path to development. Mr. Kaberuka will advise Togolese authorities of the institution’s achievements which include the recent record replenishment of the African Development Fund (ADF) and ongoing reforms at the Bank designed to enhance the institution’s performance. He will also discuss the institution’s strategic orientations aimed at significantly contributing to infrastructure development projects on the continent and reinforcing regional integration.

Alongside Togolese authorities, Mr. Kaberuka and his delegation will examine ways the Bank Group can help Togo’s development efforts in priority areas the country has defined such as governance and economic recovery efforts for the period 2008-2010.

The Bank Group started operations in Togo in 1972 and has since then approved twenty-seven (27) operations, including twenty-four (24) projects, as well as three (3) studies estimated at US$270 million. The financial commitments include loans from the ADB window (14%), and from the African Development Fund (82%) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (4%), the soft loan arms of the Bank Group. The social sector accounts for 25.2% of the loans, transportation accounts for 24.7%, while multi-sector projects account for 22.7% and rural development 16.9%. The industry and banking sector, and telecommunications account for 5% and 3.2%, respectively. The water and sanitation sector accounts for 2.3% of total commitments.

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