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Revival of Cooperation and Preparation for the 2010 Annual Meetings
The AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka and his delegation began a working visit to Cote d’Ivoire on Monday July 27, 2009, with a meeting with the Planning and Development Minister and current Chairman of the Board of Governors of the AfDB, Paul-Antoine Bohoun Bouabré. In a welcome speech, the Minister thanked the Bank for the leadership role it has played in ensuring Cote d’Ivoire’s re-engagement with the international financial community. "Saying thank you is not enough to convey the depth of our gratitude," Mr. Bohoun Boubre said, adding that "this visit, which comes at an important moment in our history" will be an opportunity for high quality deliberation on two issues of mutual interest in revitalizing the partnership with regards to the government’s poverty reduction strategy, and the organization of the AfDB’s annual meetings in Abidjan in May 2010. In his response, President Kaberuka said “the Bank delegation was highly delighted to be in Côte d'Ivoire at the invitation of the Ivorian government." He commended the government and all Ivorians for the efforts they have made at the political and economic fronts, to pave the way for the normalization of relations with the international financial community.
The resumption of cooperation between the AfDB and Cote d’Ivoire should be based on the fact that "this country has incredible potential for the region and for Africa," Mr. Kaberuka, said, while reaffirming the commitment of the Bank to assist Côte d'Ivoire in its economic recovery process.
He also welcomed the forthcoming holding of the next annual meeting in Abidjan. "This city is still the statutory headquarters of the Bank," he said, adding that "the Board of Directors of the AfDB Group has decided to renovate the headquarters building."
The AfDB President and his delegation later visited the Bank’s Housing Estate (Cité BAD) and other Bank property to ascertain the degree of renovation and maintenance they require.
Earlier, the delegation, accompanied by the Minister inspected ongoing rehabilitation of the Hotel Ivoire, which will host the sessions of the Boards of Governors during the 2010 Annual Meetings. President Kaberuka and Mr/ Bohoun Bouabré listened to the explanations of the experts working on the gigantic renovation, who assured them that that the premises and equipment would be fully ready to effectively host the best Annual Meetings. In the opinion of all present, the splendid venue underscores the assurance of successful event.
The AfDB President will be received by the Prime Minister Guillaume Soro late afternoon of 27 July. He will meet President Gbagbo Tuesday, July 28.