The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Donald Kaberuka, arrived in Bamako, Mali, on Monday, November 4 as part of an official tour of the Sahel region, with visits to Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad. In those countries, Kaberuka was scheduled to meet with authorities, and with communities, on matters of development and security, within the framework of a joint mission involving other development partners. In particular, Kaberuka was expected to reiterate the AfDB’s commitment to supporting efforts to stabilize the region.
A ministerial meeting on the Sahel was to be held on November 5 in Bamako, with the participation of the AfDB. At the meeting, Kabaruka would stress the need to find appropriate regional solutions to put an end to threats to stability and development in the countries of the region.
Various questions were to be discussed during the tour, including matters relating to water, agriculture and food security. Water is a priority sector for the AfDB. In recent years, the Bank has developed two major initiatives for supporting African countries. These cover managing water resources; developing investments for water security; and access to drinking water and sanitation services in the rural sector.
These Bank-led initiatives are the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative and the African Water Facility. Furthermore, since 2003 the AfDB has been providing access to drinking water for some 6 million people in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Niger, as well as other countries of the Sahel.
In the area of agriculture, over the last decade the AfDB has mobilized funding totalling around 675 million Units of Account (more than $1 billion) in various projects and programs in the Sahel. When the region was experiencing food crisis situations, the AfDB mobilized emergency aid to tackle certain critical situations in Chad, Senegal, The Gambia, Mauritania and Mali. This aid totalled $4.7 million.
In Mali, the AfDB has an active portfolio of over 100 billion CFA francs. During the Brussels conference on the reconstitution of Mali, held in May 2013, the AfDB committed a sum of 240 million euros for the period of 2013–2014.
Participants in this joint mission include United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, President of the African Union Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and European Union Commissioner for Development Andris Pielbalgs.