AfDB Vice-President begins three-day official visit to Sudan
The Vice President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) responsible for Corporate Services and Human Resources, Alberic Kacou, began a three-day official visit to Sudan on Tuesday, 04 April 2017, accompanied by the Bank’s Resident Representative in the country, Abdul Kamara. The visit is a follow-up to the recent visit of the Bank Group’s President Dr. Adesina, which created an opportunity for high level interaction with the Sudanese authorities and exchange of views on opportunities associated with the temporary removal of economic sanctions and avenues for the country’s reengagement with the international community.
The three-day official visit will start with a courtesy call on the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Badreldin Mahmoud Abass on 4th April 2017. Dr. Kacou will also hold consultative meetings with key development partners, the private sector, African Ambassadors as well as Project coordinators managing AfDB-financed projects in the country. The Vice-President will also, among other things, assess the pre-requisites for revamping the AfDB Khartoum Office with view to positing it to resume full operations when the conditions become normalized.
The visit comes on the heels of the Bank’s structural transformation in its bid to bring services closer to clients through decentralization, to enhance development impact at the national and regional levels. It is also a time when the country is making concerted efforts to make headway in revitalizing its economy, which has been grappling with far reaching macroeconomic pressures that emerged from South Sudan’s secession.
The African Development has, over the past seven years stepped up its engagement with Sudan focusing on technical assistance, capacity building especially public financial management, and targeted operations that deliver social services, especially in the key sectors of health, education, and water and sanitation, among others. The Bank currently has an ongoing portfolio of about $200 million (all grants), comprising twelve projects in several states, including Kassala, White Nile, Blue Nile, West Kordofan, Gezira, Khartoum and the five states of Darfur.
Headquartered in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, the Bank has over the last five decades grown its financial muscle to become Africa’s premier development finance institution, spending billions of US dollars annually to address the continent’s structural deficits, especially infrastructure including roads and power and ITC, as well as human capital development, fostering economic integration, industrialization, unlocking the potential of the private sector and accelerating social service delivery to improve living conditions in Africa. The Bank seeks to achieve through its emphasis on five key priorities of its long-term strategy (2013-2022) or the “High 5s”, which are power, food security, industrialization, regional integration and improving the quality of life for Africans.