President Kaberuka to Undertake Two-day Official Visit to Namibia

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Tunis, 12 June 2009 – African Development Bank (AfDB) Group President, Donald Kaberuka, will from 16-17 June undertake an official visit to Namibia, for talks on bilateral and regional development issues with the country’s political leaders, top technocrats, and industry and business leaders.

The visit is designed to provide him with a first-hand account of Namibia‘s development challenges and the government’s efforts to address them. It will also give both sides the opportunity to explore areas for mutual cooperation.

According to the programme, the AfDB President will, soon after his arrival in Windhoek on Monday, 16 June, address the Namibian Cabinet on Bank Group’s efforts to mitigate the effects of the global economic downturn on Lower Middle Income Countries in the short- and long-term.

The event will be followed by a working lunch with Transport and Trade Minister, Hage Geingob, and Finance Minister and AfDB Governor for Namibia, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.

Mr. Kaberuka will pay a courtesy visit on President Hifikepunye Pohamba and later attend a presidential dinner at State House in the Capital.

The second day of the visit will begin with a Business Symposium on AfDB-Namibia relations, where the President is expected to further discuss the Bank Group’s response to the financial crisis and mechanisms put in place to enable regional member countries mitigate its negative impact on their economies.

After the symposium, Mr. Kaberuka and his delegation – Executive Director for Namibia, Andrew Bvumbe and the Regional Director, Abdirahman Beileh – will fly to Ondangwa to tour the Bank Group’s Northern Railway Extension Project site in Oshana Region, some 80 km from the boarder with neighbouring Angolan.

The project, one of the Bank Group’s outstanding investments in the country, aims at stimulating economic growth in the northern regions of Namibia and promoting regional integration by improving trade links with Angola through the provision of additional transport infrastructure and the extension of the rail network by 248 km from Tsumeb to Ondangwa.

The Bank Group started operations in Namibia in 1991, one year after the country’s independence. To date, the institution’s cumulative commitments in the country stand at UA* 140.2 million, about US$ 217 million net of cancellations, in eleven projects and four studies.

Thirteen of the 15 operations have been completed while two are ongoing. The transport sector is the largest recipient of Bank Group financing with 51.6% share, followed by agriculture (34.2%), social (8.6%), power (4.5%), multi-sector (0.6%), and water supply and sanitation (0.5%).

The Bank Group recently approved a new Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for Namibia, which focuses on enhancing the competitiveness of the private sector through the development of capacity and infrastructure (transport, energy and water); investing in rural infrastructures and irrigation systems to increase agricultural productivity and enhance food security; and partnership for trade and regional integration.  

The Bank has also recently signed a Host Country Agreement to open a regional office in Pretoria, South Africa, covering Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Multinational Projects under SADC (Southern African Development Community).

* 1 UA = 1.54805 US$ = 12.307- NAD as 12/06/2009

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