Board Approves Turkey’s Application for AfDB Membership
Tunis, 28 March 2008 – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved the Republic of Turkey’s application to join the Bank Group. The Board also approved the authorization of a special Bank capital increase required to actualize Turkey’s membership. The approval will be presented to the Bank Group’s Board of Governors at the institution’s Annual Meetings in Maputo, Mozambique from 14-15 May 2008. This will enable Turkey subscribe to the Bank’s share capital and become the 25th non-regional and 78th overall member of the Bank Group. The Board of Directors had approved Turkey’s bid to join the Bank in 1991 but the approval elapsed due to delays in processing the application.
During discussions on the issues at the Board meeting on Wednesday, 26 March 2008 in Tunis, Bank Group President, Donald Kaberuka, cited Turkey’s strategic location between the West and the East as well as the country’s growing interest to do business with Africa as compelling attractions for its admission to the group. Board members also referred to Turkey’s increasing presence in Africa’s economic, educational and cultural domains as an indication of the country’s readiness to support the continent’s development efforts.
Turkey is a Eurasian country that stretches across the Anatolian peninsula in western Asia in the Balkan region of southeastern Europe. Due to its strategic location astride two continents, Turkey's culture has a unique blend of Eastern and Western tradition. A powerful regional presence in the Eurasian landmass with strong historic, cultural and economic influence in the area between the European Union in the west and Central Asia in the east, Russia in the north and the Middle East in the south, Turkey has come to acquire increasing strategic significance. With a population of 70.5 million (2007) and GDP growth rate of 7.4% from 2002-2007.
Currently, the AfDB Group is composed of 53 African (Regional Members) and 24 Non-Regional members -- Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States of America.
At least three other countries have indicated their decision to join the Bank Group, a clear indication of the institution’s increasing prospects of becoming the continent’s premier development finance institution and the preferred channel for development financing to the continent.