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The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, held talks with Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, at the Presidential Palace on Tuesday, October 6.
President Ouattara acknowledged the Bank’s strong support of Côte d’Ivoire’s development programme alongside other partners. He set out the priorities of his Government, which will focus on industrial processing and value addition for agricultural exports, universal access to energy with the target of powering all villages with more than 500 inhabitants, and regional integration, particularly within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
President Ouattara appreciated the commitment of the new AfDB President to support agricultural development in Côte d’Ivoire, as production continues to be characterized by a low level of local processing. He stressed the importance of putting in place policies and structures capable of boosting investments and creating an enabling environment for increased value addition for primary products in the sector.
Adesina thanked President Ouattara for his strong support for the Bank, which greatly facilitated the return of the organisation and its staff to its headquarters in Abidjan. He also expressed his gratitude to President Ouattara for his wise counsel, recognising that the Head of State is one of Africa’s most eminent economists. He reaffirmed the Bank’s commitment to further strengthen its cooperation with the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire over the 2016-2017 period. A solid pipeline of projects is being prepared, including the Abidjan–Lagos road corridor, which will enhance economic integration in the West Africa region.
The Minister of State for Planning and Development and the AfDB Governor for Côte d’Ivoire, Albert Toikeusse Mabri, stated that Ministerial and AfDB teams are working collaboratively on an important programme to finance the transport sector, particularly road programmes.
The Bank’s project portfolio in Côte d’Ivoire amounts to some $2.1 billion since 1967, with 16 projects ongoing worth nearly $640 million.