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Luxembourg will become the 26th non regional member country of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group. African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka and Luxembourg Minister of Finance Pierre Gramegna participated in the official signing ceremony on May 10, 2014 in Luxembourg.
Through its membership in the AfDB, Luxembourg further confirms the importance it gives to global issues, as well as its commitment to contributing to Africa’s development.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Kaberuka expressed his gratitude and that of Africa’s governments to Luxembourg. “Luxembourg’s membership is an additional testimony that the African Development Bank Group is very attractive. This testifies, if need be, of the crucial role our institution plays in support of African economies and the well-being of the populations,” Kaberuka said, adding: “As we welcome Luxembourg, this reminds us that we should do more to improve the living conditions of Africans, by focusing on inclusive growth, as the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy indicates.”
For his part, Gramegna said Luxembourg’s joining the AfDB is a continuation of the country’s long-standing interest and support for Africa. He highlighted the special relationship that Luxembourg maintains with certain African countries, that are the focus of Luxembourg’s cooperation on the continent. “Sub-Saharan Africa is the primary area of concentration of our cooperation. Therefore, our membership will reinforce the country’s action in favour of its African partners,” he declared.
Praising AfDB’s interventions on the ground, Gramegna added: “AfDB’s policies and strategies, as well as those of Luxembourg’s development assistance contribute to the same sustainable development objective of reducing poverty on the African continent.”
Minister Gramegna also underlined sectors on which his government intends to focus. These include renewable energy and the financial sector. Gramegna said the Ministry of Cooperation and Humanitarian Action and the Ministry of Finance will reinforce collaboration so as to optimize the impact of the Luxembourg’s intervention in the sector of renewable energy. As for the financial sector, Luxembourg will specifically support this sector, given the crucial role of financial markets in sustainable development.
Exchanging with the media, following the signing ceremony, Donald Kaberuka expressed hope for Africa’s future, given the dynamism he observes in African countries. “This dynamism, he said, is not due to financial capital countries bring to the table. It is due to African human capital, to the actions of African men and women. They constitute the true capital,” he underlined.
On growth, Kaberuka said, “African countries should go beyond growth to ensure that the current trend translates into true improvement of the living conditions of a large number of people. Growth is good for social justice, as well as for countries’ development dynamics. The AfDB will continue to provide its support towards that end through its Ten Year Strategy.”
On the AfDB’s triple-A (AAA) rating, Kaberuka said, “This rating helps the institution mobilize resources for the development of countries, as well as to be competitive on financial markets, which is good for countries. This is the reason why we do all we can to remain competitive.”