Niger’s Finance Minister Visits Bank Group
Bank Group President, Donald Kaberuka, on Tuesday, October 7, 2008, received Niger’s Finance and Economy Minister, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, who was at the head of a strong delegation. During his one-day working visit, Mr. Zeine, who is also the AfDB Governor for Niger, discussed the modalities of a UA 40 million (CFAF 30 billion) loan with Bank Group officials for the financing of the Kandadji dam. At the end of the negotiations, Niger and the Bank Group signed a document in the office of the Executive Director for Niger, Frédéric Korsaga, which opens the way for the loan request to be submitted to the Bank Group’s board of directors. "The Kandadji dam is an important project for Niger. Its agricultural component will contribute to the country’s efforts to attain food self-sufficiency and its hydroelectric component will reinforce the country’s energy independence," the Bank Group’s Director of Operations, Janvier Litsé, said. "It is because of these challenges that the Bank Group has committed to support Niger in the realization of this important project," he added. The Bank Group has shown its support to Niger’s intention to build the Kandadji dam by actively participating in a donor roundtable organized in 2007 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on the financing of the project. Given the importance of the project, the Bank Group was represented at the project’s foundation laying by the AfDB Director of Cabinet, Modibo Touré, on August 3, 2008. The Bank’s contribution to the realization of the project strengthens the partnership ties between the AfDB and Niger. As the country’s main technical and financial partner, the Bank Group has financed 63 operations worth CFAF 290 billion in the country in addition to some CFAF 100 billion which will be devoted to the cancellation of the country’s debt.