AfDB Reaffirms Support to Benin’s Development Efforts

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Tunis, 15 September 2009 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has responded positively to a request for support from the Republic of Benin to enable the country meet development challenges posed by the global economic crisis.

Receiving President Boni Yayi and his ministerial delegation on Friday, 11 September 2990 in Tunis, the AfDB Group President, Donald Kaberuka, assured of the Bank Group’s “preparedness to pursue and intensify our bilateral cooperation (which) has so far been exemplary and diverse”.

Mr. Kaberuka mentioned that technical meetings between the two sides have already been set in motion following preliminary meetings held by senior Bank Group management and members of the Beninese delegation, who arrived in Tunis on Thursday evening.

“Mr. President, your visit is particularly timely. It is taking place at a time when we are going to take decisive action for the future,” he said, citing the beginning of preliminary discussions on the Bank Group’s Sixth General Capital Increase, “at the time when we are about to launch resource mobilization activities for the 12th replenishment of the African Development Fund and soon, the commencement of preparations for Benin’s 2011-2013 Country Strategy Paper.

For his part, President Yayi noted the “happy coincidence” of his fund-driven visit with the deliberations being held on the Bank’s General Capital Increase, noting that many African countries, facing similar challenges as Benin, as a result of the global economic crisis, would inevitably seek assistance from the AfDB.

President Yayi reiterated his full support to the Bank and the need for a capital increase, in order to meet increasing demands for resources from the Regional Member Countries

Benin needs a susbstantial assistance infrastructure (roads) development; microfinance, notably support to small-scale artisans and trades that provide life-support to women and people at the grassroots, as well as in agriculture, health and education.

Bank experts and members of the delegation held discussions on the impact of the economic crisis on Benin, which included presentations by the ministers in charge of various sectors.

After his election in 2006, President Yayi declared that the administration would focus on accelerated and sustainable economic growth through good governance, promotion of private sector activities, development of economic infrastructure, and support to grassroots development. This will be based on Strategic Development Guidelines running through 2011.

The Bank Group commenced its operations in Benin in 1972. Since then, the institution has approved 81 operations with net commitments of approximately CFAF 595 billion.

President Donald Kaberuka made an official visit to Benin in March 2008.

1 UA (Units of Account) = 1.6606 US$ = 719.782 FCFA as at 01/09/2009

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