Bank Group and Indian Ocean Commission Agree to increased Cooperation

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Tunis, 4 September 2009 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), on Friday September 4, 2009 in Tunis concluded bi-lateral consultations aimed at strengthening collaboration between the two institutions.

The two institutions signed an Aide-Memoire at the end of a three-day visit to the AfDB by the Secretary General of the IOC, Ambassador Calixte D’Offay and one of his advisers.

The Aide-Memoire was signed for the Bank by AfDB’s Regional and Country Operations Vice-President, Aloysius Ordu and for the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), by Secretary-General, Calixte d’Offay, in the presence of Bank Group experts.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Ambassador D’Offay emphasized regional integration as a core pillar of the IOC. He outlined the various areas where the IOC would like to engage with the Bank, namely: Capacity building for climate change mitigation and adaptation; Development of the second phase, of an already ongoing Bank funded HIV/AIDS project, to include the combating of substance abuse, especially drugs; Exploration of policies to better integrate the islands and to encourage sustainable development; Development and support for the implementation of a gender strategy; and Development of infrastructure projects such as interconnectivity through submarine cables, shipping line initiatives and the development of ports.

The visit to the Bank Group, offered the IOC delegation, an opportunity to present the IOC to the Board and wider Bank Management, and to solicit views on future areas of cooperation between the two institutions.

The Bank Group expressed interest in IOC’s role in regional cooperation and recognized the specificities of IOC countries as islands, and highlighted the development opportunities and potential of its territories. For his part Ambassador D’Offay expressed interest in strengthening cooperation between IOC and the Bank Group, given its role on the continent and the knowledge products it offers to its member countries.

The Indian Ocean countries include Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles, which are members of the Bank Group, as well as Reunion Island, which is department of France.

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