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Delegates Converge on Dakar for AfDB’s 2009 Annual Meetings

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Dakar, 10 May 2009 - Participants to the 2009 Annual Meetings of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group have begun to converge on Dakar, Senegal, for the 13-14 May gathering scheduled to hold on the theme: “Africa and the Financial Crisis: An Agenda for Action".

The meetings, taking place at the King Fahd Complex Conference Center in the Meridian President Hotel, will be preceded by high level ministerial sessions and seminars on current economic and development issues, notably, the prevailing global financial crisis as well as urgent challenges facing the continent.

The AfDB Annual Meetings, usually held in May, constitute the biggest gathering of financial and development experts on the continent. Finance ministers, senior government officials, business leaders, academics, media experts, and representatives of international organizations and the civil society, make up the over 1,500 participants attending the meetings.

Governors, usually finance and economy ministers and central bank governors representing the 77-member countries (53 Regional and 24 non-Regional countries), constitute the AfDB’s highest policy-making body. The annual meetings are statutory occasions for the governors to review the Bank Group’s administrative, financial and operational activities in the past financial year and provide guidance on future Bank Group operations.

This year, activities leading up to the Board sessions include a Ministerial Roundtable on “Africa and the Financial Crisis: An Agenda for Action” to be co-chaired by Bank Group President, Donald Kaberuka, and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Executive Secretary, Abdoulie Janneh.

This will be followed by high-level seminars on “The Financial Crisis and Fragile States”, “The Financial Crisis, Regional Integration and Trade”,  “The Financial Crisis and Economic Reforms: Options for the future”, “The Financial Crisis and Access to Finance”, and “The challenges of food security in Africa and the responses of international institutions”.

Other events on the agenda include the dissemination of the “Africa Economic Outlook”, a key publication jointly produced by the Bank Group and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which analyses critical aspects of African economic performance.

Participants will discuss other key issues, including “African Capital Markets/Making Finance Work for Africa”, followed by a presentation of the Bank Group's 2008 “African Development Report”.

Also on the agenda is an African Business Leadership Award which will be followed by discussions on the “Strategic Role of Procurement in Improving Performance and Development Effectiveness” and “China-Africa Trade, Investment and Policy Issues”, among others.

Representatives of the civil society and non-governmental organizations will participate in the meetings and sessions.

Senegalese President, Abdoulaye Wade, is scheduled to preside over the formal opening session on 13 May 2009. President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso and Vice President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana are scheduled to attend the session.

The curtains will be drawn on the 2009 AfDB Annual Meetings on 14 May 2009.


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