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Regional integration and the intensification of the South-South cooperation were at the core of the discussions in Marrakech, on the sidelines of the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB), which ended on Friday, May 31.
Under this dynamic, the government of São Tomé and Príncipe, represented by its Minister of Planning and Finances, Hélio da Silva Almeida, signed on May 30, 2013, a US $295,930 agreement with the AfDB, to finance a Lusophone cooperation project under the South-South Cooperation Trust Fund.
The AfDB, in partnership with the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, through the Fragile States Unit, has mobilized these funds to contribute to the efficient use of oil revenue, through study trips. The project aims to create jobs and reinforce human capacity, mostly among young people.
On behalf of the AfDB, the Vice-President in charge of Sector Operations, Aly Abou-Sabaa, highlighted the importance of integration and South-South cooperation, which, in his opinion, constitute the cornerstones in the promotion of Africa’s sustainable development. “This fund will contribute to the realization of key development goals in São Tomé and Príncipe, with the objective of achieving inclusive growth and, in turn, to decrease poverty,” Abou-Sabaa stated.
Highlighting his country’s attachment to issues linked to the South-South integration and cooperation, the Minister welcomed the partnership between his country and the AfDB, which included an “important” portfolio of development projects. “Regional integration is an imperative and this financing reinforces the AfDB’s support to economic and financial management, aiming to reduce the costs of transactions in our country,” he added.
The South-South Cooperation Trust Fund was implemented by Brazil, on June 11, 2011, to improve the exchange of technology, knowledge and resources between developing countries, for the benefit of the AfDB’s regional member countries.