President Donald Kaberuka Attends AU Summit, Visits Senegal
The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group President, Donald Kaberuka, was recently on a two-day official visit to Senegal, after taking part in the 7th Summit Meeting of the African Union in the Gambian capital of Banjul. The Banjul summit was held on the theme: "The rationalization of regional economic communities and regional integration". The AfDB Group President also participated in a meeting of the High-Level Committee of Heads of State and Government on the NEPAD framework as well as in a forum on the African Peer Review Mechanism.
While in Dakar, President Kaberuka inaugurated the Bank Group’s Regional Office and held meetings with government authorities and development partners. He was also received in audience by Senegalese President, Abdoulaye Wade. He visited AfDB-funded projects in the country and held a press conference with the media.
The Bank has been one of Senegal’s most reliable development partners in the country’s economic development efforts. Since starting operations in Senegal in 1972, the Bank Group has supported Senegal’s economic efforts through the financing of eight-three (83) projects worth CFAF 650 billion. The development operations cut across different sectors of the economy, and include agriculture, rural development, health, transport, energy, water and sanitation, mines, banking, etc. Under its private sector concessional window, the African Development Bank Group in June 2005 approved the financing of the Kounoune power project worth 8 million Euros, equivalent to CFAF 5.3 billion.
In order to promote economic cooperation, regional integration and the concretization of the NEPAD Initiative, the Bank Group is currently financing eight projects worth CFAF 105 billion. These projects include the OMVS Energy Project, OMVG Natural Resources Management Project and the Road Rehabilitation and Transport facilitation on the Bamako-Kati-Saraya-Kedougou corridor which links the southern part of the country to Mali. The Bank is considering the financing of the multinational bridge construction project over the river Senegal which will link the country to Mauritania.
The Bank also discussed a results-based strategy document with Senegalese authorities in May 2005 and the Bank Group’s Board of Directors approved the document in June 2005. In this regard, the Bank will be financing projects in Senegal worth CFAF 92 billion under the tenth replenishment of the African Development Fund (ADF-X), including three projects that were approved in 2005. These projects include: (1) a Rural Development Support Project worth UA 20 million to help relaunch economic and social activities in Casamance. The programme was initiated by the government of Senegal and supported by the donor community in order to support the peace process in the region; (2) a road maintenance project worth UA 29 and (3) a rural water and sanitation project worth UA 25 million.
The Bank Group’s continuous support to Senegal, coupled with help from other development partners has resulted in Senegal recording impressive macro-economic performance over the last years. Thanks to the country’s relentless pursuit of institutional and structural reforms, Senegal has achieved economic results which have helped place it among the fourteen African countries which qualified for multilateral debt cancellation. The African Development Bank Group approved a US$408.96 million debt cancellation for Senegal.
In keeping with its philosophy of close partnership with its regional member countries, the Bank in 2004 opened a regional office in Senegal. The office also covers three other countries, namely: Mauritania, the Gambia and Cape Verde. Since its establishment, the Regional Office has kept communication lines with countries under its jurisdiction open, coordinated development actions and strategies with other development partners and managed the Bank Group’s portfolio with a view to improving its performance.
In line with the guiding principles of the Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness through the harmonization of donor actions, alignment with national strategies, results-based management and mutual responsibilities of partners, the Bank Group is sure that with the macro-economic progress achieved by Senegal through the implementation of the poverty reduction strategy, coupled with current reforms and efforts in the social sector, Senegal is likely to attain the Millennium Development Goals.