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Bank Group President and French Economy, Industry and Employment Minister Discuss Food Security

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French Economy, Industry and Employment Minister, Christine Lagarde, on June 27, 2007, received the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group President, Donald Kaberuka. Discussions during the meeting focused on issues of common interest, especially on official development assistance. France is making considerable contributions to the African Development Fund (ADF) replenishment, private sector development and food security on the continent. Both parties commended Africa’s sustained economic growth of 5.7% while regretting insufficient growth in the agricultural sector which stands at 3%. According to Mr. Kaberuka, efforts aimed at resolving the food crisis require urgent actions which, besides the use of more fertilizers, should include rural infrastructure development and a more innovative approach to financing agriculture.

The French economy minister expressed satisfaction with efforts by the AfDB and results obtained within the framework of ongoing reforms. "I commend you for the great job you are doing and I urge you to keep it up," the minister told Mr. Kaberuka.

Mr. Kaberuka, for his part, thanked Mrs. Lagarde for the friendly reception. He used the occasion to express his gratitude to France and its president, Nicolas Sarkozy, for the attention and contribution the country’s authorities had made to Bank Group operations. "We are counting on the partnership with France to overcome Africa’s development challenges," Mr. Kaberuka said.

The AfDB is looking forward to strengthening its already fruitful cooperation with France to efficiently contribute to efforts to reduce poverty that still affects a sizeable proportion of the continent’s population. The meeting between Mr. Kaberuka and Mrs. Lagarde was attended by the AfDB Executive Director for France, Emmanuel Carrère, and France's ADF Deputy, Julien Renki.

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