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Leeds, U.K., 25 October 2005 – The President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Donald Kaberuka addressed an Informal Meeting of EU Development Ministers in Leeds on Tuesday, and spoke about how EU can best support stability, prosperity, and development in Africa, in particular by working with African institutions.
He urged the international community to deliver on their recent commitment to the continent in response to the positive developments taking place on the continent.
There is only 65 days left for the "year of development", he said.
"The news from African is good but there are potentials for set-backs if there are no follow-ups. It is not the first time the international community has mobilised for Africa. But often, pledges have not been followed with firm commitment".
The ADB, he said, is an institution with very high potential with reasonable knowledge of the continent. It should be assisted and supported so that it can deploy its full potential on the ground.
Talking on comparative advantage, the ADB President noted that at the end of the day, it is African institutions and governments that must implements these strategies in Africa and therefore should be brought into the picture at the preparation stage.
"One thing I have learnt in this debate on comparative advantage is that the, division of labour is not a hermetically sealed pocket of exclusiveness, it is rather a relative assessment of institutional strength, a sector within a country or even a project, where you can contribute better than others," Dr. Kaberuka said.
For instance, he noted, the ADB devoted up to 40% of its resources on infrastructure even at a time when most development partners had scaled down on infrastructure projects.
Dr. Kaberuka is carrying out internal reforms to be able to give the lead in specific areas.
He appealed to the EU in particular and the international community in general to work toward strengthening the ADB, the AU and the regional economic communities to accelerate the pace of development on the continent.
The two-day Informal EU ministers meetings discussed international development, issues, trade, policy and EU-African relations.
Twenty-one of the 25 members were represented at the meeting.