Interview with AfDB Resident Representative in Senegal, Mohamed H’Midouche

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“These AfDB Annual Meetings in Dakar could be considered as the G-78 in comparison with the G-20,” the AfDB Resident Representative in Senegal Mohamed H’Midouche said ahead of the official opening of the meetings.

Question: As the AfDB Resident Representative in Senegal, you have always been linked to various phases of the preparations for the Annual Meetings which are taking place in Dakar, Senegal. We are noticing some movement in the city. On the eve of the meetings, what is your impression of the event?  

Answer : It is true that our field office has, from the start, been associated with preparations for the meetings which are special to us given that the Bank Group is having a new member – Turkey – and the theme of this year’s meetings are on a current issue – the financial crisis – which concerns everybody across the globe. Regarding organization, there has been great mobilization both at the Senegalese government level and at the AfDB led by its Secretary-General, Kordjé Bédoumra. I was part of various AfDB missions to Dakar. Those who are on the ground can testify that all is ready.

Senegal has set up a national organizing committee comprising representatives of the government, the prime minister’s office and officials of all the ministries. The Senegalese government has also put in place a scientific community to prepare Senegal’s contribution and to ensure the country participates in the high-level symposium which will focus on the financial crisis. I would also like to add that regarding the organization of the event, we have noticed a huge participation in the event. We have, to date, registered 1,400 participants. We are expecting some 1,500 participants. I would like to use this occasion to welcome AfDB governors, board members, resident representatives and Bank staff to Dakar.

Question: Within the context of the financial crisis where many meetings are taking place - G-8, G-20 – could you tell us the importance of the Dakar meetings whose focus is on the financial crisis?

Answer: I think that the AfDB Annual Meetings that are taking in Dakar, Senegal, could be considered as the G-78 in comparison with the G-20. As you are aware, besides South Africa, no African country was invited to the G-20 Summit. Here in Dakar, all African countries plus all G-20 countries will be meeting to discuss Africa and the financial crisis. An action plan has, essentially, been adopted and it will provide a summary of what the AfDB has been targetting as relevant actions capable of enabling the continent overcome the crisis.

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