Côte d’Ivoire Re-engages with Development Partners

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Tunis, 7 March 2009 – The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and Côte d’Ivoire on Friday, March 6, 2009, signed three grant agreements worth CFAF 248 billion, that have enabled the country clear its debt arrears to the institution and re-engagement with development partners.

The first agreement was on the Bank’s contribution worth CFAF 184 billion to the country’s arrears clearance. The other agreements with a combined value of CFAF 64 billion aim at supporting the country’s economic and financial reform programme through budget support.

The agreement was signed for the Bank by Vice Presidents Zeinab El-Bakri and Joseph Eichenberger while the Ivorian Ambassador in Tunisia, Yapo Atchapo Thomas, signed for his country. The financing is testimony to the Bank’s strong commitment to help the country emerge from its fragile state status at this critical moment.

The event was attended by the Executive Directors for France and Côte d’Ivoire, Emmanuel Carrère and Tchétché NGuessan, respectively, as well as the AfDB Director for Regional West operation s, Janvier K.Litsé

The package followed the approval on the same day of the bank Group’s Global Country Strategy Note (2009-2010), an Arrears Clearance Plan as well as an Economic Reform Support Programme (PAREF).

Côte d’Ivoire had, since 2003, accumulated US$ 517 million in debt arrears with the Bank Group as at April 2007 cut-off-date. The country’s clearance of arrears, with the assistance of the Bank Group and its Fragile State Facility, is an instrumental part of an intensive coordinated intervention by development partners, in particular the Bretton Woods Institutions. The aim of this coordinated efforts, in the short term, is to assist the country to reach the HIPC decision point before end March 2009. Under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief Initiative, Côte d’Ivoire is entitled to US$ 3 billion in Net present value terms.  

The overall objective of the Bank’s strategy is to assist Côte d’Ivoire move out of its fragile status whilst improving the living conditions of the population. The Strategy will focus on strengthening governance with a notable focus on public finance management as well as developing regional economic infrastructure. Indeed, these two intervention pillars will strengthen the government’s post-crisis agenda and economic reform program. The renewed financial cooperation between the Bank Group and Côte d’Ivoire will also result in a restructuring of the country’s entire projects’ portfolio during the second quarter of 2009.

*1 UA = US$ 1.46736= CFAF) 761.251 as at 04/03/2009