This ceremony is "a crucial moment in the reinforcement of the cooperation relationships, already excellent, that link the Bank Group to Burkina Faso"; the ABD President said.
In the framework of the ADB’s decentralization policy, Burkina Faso is part of a group of 25 countries which will shelter the field offices improving management and follow-up of the Bank projects and programmes and ensuring a better quality of assistance and dialogue to the member countries.
The criteria for selection of these countries are the volume, quality, portfolio capacity as well as local Private sector potentialities and institutional capacity of the country. A crucial factor, which also motivates the selection, is the regional integration promotion perspectives that the chosen Regional Office can provide.
President Kabbaj recalled that Burkina Faso portfolio is composed of more than 26 projects, primarily in the rural development and social sectors. He wished that the Country Office settlement in Ouagadougou will enable the country to speed up the projects implementation and to increase the disbursement rate, currently rather low, at about 30%. The Burkina Faso’s populations would then benefit from the impact of the Bank’s operations on the development of their country.
The Burkina Faso Regional Office will be endowed with competencies to deliver technical assistance in terms of loans enforcement, market entering, and disbursement. It will also play a mediator role on general policy issues and development strategy with the Burkina Faso political authorities and local partners.
President Kabbaj also stressed out that the opening of this Country Office will benefit the Bank’s visibility in the region. Moreover, Mr. Kabbaj reminded that the AfDB Annual Meetings 2006 will be held in Burkina Faso.
*1 UA = 1.51678 US$ as at 01/05/2005