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AfDB supports Guinea-Bissau during its international donor conference
On March 25, Guinea-Bissau convened an international donor conference in Brussels in order to lay out its new strategic vision 2015-2025 “Terra Ranka” (“A fresh start”). The vision was accompanied by a detailed operational plan with specific programmes and projects being presented. The conference’s final communiqué speaks of a pledge over 1 billion euros to support the country as it transitions out of fragility and builds the necessary resilience required for its development.
Vision 2015-2025 is built on two core tenets: the need for the authorities to embark on a sustainable development path, taking into account the country’s distinctive biodiversity and the necessity to reshape its institutional governance to ensure efficiency and inclusiveness. The operational and strategic plan underpinning this vision is composed of four key pillars – peace and governance, infrastructure, urban development and human development – and a cross-cutting theme (biodiversity), which is in line with the African Development Bank’s recently approved Guinea-Bissau 2015-2019 Country Strategy Paper.
The country embarked on the process for a new vision in late 2014 when the newly elected government decided to organise a donor conference by the end of the first quarter of 2015. The Bank was requested to join the country’s strategic consultative group and to provide ongoing assistance with technical inputs on the strategic document presented in Brussels. During the conference, Mamadou Lamine N’Dongo, the Bank’s head of delegation and Regional Representative for Senegal, Cape Verde, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and the Gambia, highlighted the Bank’s relationship with the country dating from the early days of its independence. He also underscored the AfDB’s commitment to work on the mobilization of funding to be extended through the African Development Fund, the Bank’s concessional window, or through other means such as Trust Funds, the Africa50 infrastructure fund, etc. Most importantly, he said, considering Guinea-Bissau’s history of repeated fragility, governance improvements were paramount for the government’s vision to materialize.
The Brussels meeting was also an occasion to disseminate findings of the country’s gender profile with a summary of the joint Bank-UN Women study distributed during the conference. The study is an important document designed to help project specialists integrate the gender dimension in operations, and is also a baseline upon which progress in gender can be evaluated against in the context of the government’s strategic and operational plan.
The Bank’s delegation comprised Baboucarr Sarr, Lead Expert from the Transitional Support Department, and Yannis Arvanitis, Guinea-Bissau’s Principal Country Economist.