President Kaberuka’s Visit to Portugal
President Donald Kaberuka’s two-day working visit to Portugal - one of the 24 non-regional members of the institution - ended on Wednesday. Shortly before flying to Singapore, the President said the ADB was a privileged vehicle for the partnership between Africa and its partners - both public and private.
After discussions with government officials, including the President of the Republic, Anibal Cavaco Silva, and ministers, businessmen, representatives from the banking sector and the Portuguese private sector, Mr. Kaberuka was very encouraged with the commitment to increase economic cooperation between Portugal and the ADB in different parts of Africa in the coming months and years. With the purpose of trying to keep up the momentum generated in 2005 and profiting from the right conditions in Africa to make a great progress, the president discussed many issues, such as AfDB operations in Lusophone countries (PALOP) and the strengthening of partnerships between the Bank and Portugal. Referring to Portugal as a key shareholder that feels Africa is changing and is attentive to the many opportunities created by the improving conditions on the continent, the president discussed potential opportunities at the AfDB and searched for better ways to increase Africa’s economic growth. The representation of Lusophone countries at the bank and the importance of Portuguese as a working tool in the institution were also discussed.
Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOP) include Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique and Sao Tomé and Principe. The objective of these countries is to promote economic and social development which has characteristics that are common to the five countries with a view to strengthening regional integration.