The ADB President had intensive consultations with African Heads of States on the fringes of the World Summit on Information Society, held in Tunis from 16-18 November 2005.
"The experience of the African Development Bank suggests that building ICT infrastructure and creating a vibrant ICT sector is one of the key prerequisites for accelerating economic growth." President Donald Kaberuka made the statement in his speech to the plenary session of the WSIS on Friday 18 November, hours before the end of the three-day event. He emphasized the need for increased public private partnerships and for connectivity to schools, university and research institutions.
On Thursday 17 November, he met with the President of the Central African Republic François Bozizé came to the Bank on 17 November with a strong appeal to the Board and Senior Management: "Please do not lose sight of the specific nature of the difficulties encountered by countries such as mine, in spite of our efforts to emerge from them. If I came all the way here, it is to talk to you about our determination and commitment to work relentlessly to carry out internal reforms and improve relations with our international partners." The President had a tete-a-tete with President Donald Kaberuka and addressed the Board of Directors.
Meeting with President Gnassingbe in Solidarity with Togo
Togolese Head of State Faure Gnassingbe received President Kaberuka in his Hotel Abou Nawas suite and both men reviewed cooperation between the Bank and Togo. Coming out of the meeting, Mr. Kaberuka, who was accompanied by some senior Bank officials, told the press that the Bank was totally disposed to working side by side with the country, indicating that a new dynamic could be unleashed as soon as the problem of arrears was resolved.
… And with Prime Ministers
The Prime Minister of Niger Hama Amadou, meeting with President Kaberuka in the Bank, stressed his country’s need for support, understanding and flexibility in efforts to improve the lives of his people who would otherwise be condemned to a life of misery. On an optimistic note, he pointed out that his visit to the Bank had convinced him that there was hope. Explaining his optimism, he said "I have found a fully committed team here that is working alongside a President who is fully aware of the difficulties and all that is at stake in our countries."
Mozambique’s Prime Minister Luisa Diogo met the President and his delegation at the Abou Nawas hotel early afternoon on Thursday. She expressed the wish to see the country’s development partners move toward country assistance strategies that are directly inspired by the government’s own development program. This would avoid, she said, the multiplicity of approaches that come with high transaction costs.
The President also met with the Minister of Finance of Sudan, El Zubair Ahmed El Hassan, the Director General of the European Development Fund, Mr. Stefan Manservisi and the Director General of the UN Industrial Development Organization; Kandeh Yumkellah.
On Wednesday, President Kaberuka received a delegation from the Canadian International Development Research Center (IDRC) led by its President, Maureen O Neil.The delegation was in Tunis for the WSIS and was making a courtesy call on the President.The two sides discussed cooperation between the two institutions and exchanged views on matters relating to the evaluation of projects, knowledge management and research.
ADB Presents NEPAD projects to Telecommunications Ministers
Telecommunications Ministers from Eastern and Southern Africa as well as officials from the World Bank, DFID and the NEPAD Secretariat were at the Bank on Wednesday for a briefing on the development of one of NEPAD’s flagship projects in support of ICT development in Eastern and Southern Africa. The project, the East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy) is intended to facilitate ICT Broadband connectivity in the region. The project is essential for the e-School Initiative. The session was co-chaired by the ADB NEPAD Unit’s George Taylor Lewis and Pierre Guisilain of the World Bank.
The President met some important world and regional personalities on Friday. At the Kram Expo Center, he met with the President of Microsoft International Jean-Philippe Courtois after a visit to the Microsoft Stand, and with former ADB Vice President Cyril Enweze. Mr. Kaberuka then went on a visit of the stands, starting with that of the Bank. He took part in a workshop organized by the Economic Commission for Africa on the Global Knowledge Partnership alongside ECA Executive Secretary Abdoulie Janneh and the head of the Swiss Agency for International Development Walter Fust. Back in the Bank, the President met with visiting Alternate Governor for Finland, Ms. Anneli Vuorinen in the presence of the Finnish Ambassador in Tunis, Kaija Ilander and Executive Director Aud Marit Wiig. He then met with Portugal’s Deputy Secretary of State for Public Works and Communications Paulo Jorge Oliveira Ribeiro de Campos and his country’s Ambassador to Tunisia, Aristides Gonçalves. The President’s day wound up with a meeting with the Minister of Post and Telecommunications of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mrs. Gertrude Kitembo. Senior Bank staff was present in all the meetings.