"The AfDB is Committed to Helping Côte d'Ivoire Emerge from Crisis", says Donald Kaberuka

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Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, 25 May 2010, in Abidjan, ahead of the 2010 Annual Meetings, the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group President, Donald Kaberuka, reaffirmed his confidence in Côte d’Ivoire’s ability to emerge from its crisis and reassured the country of AfDB’s unwavering support.

“We are confident that Côte d’Ivoire will come out of the crisis. … We are here as the African Development Bank to help the country emerge from its crisis. Côte d’Ivoire is not the first country to go through a crisis. My own country, Rwanda, also went through a crisis. Yet, today, we speak of a Rwandan model”.

Mr. Kaberuka expressed the hope of “seeing Côte d’Ivoire become again the economic flag bearer of the sub-region.” He underscored the importance of holding the meetings in Abidjan. “This is a very important and symbolic meeting for us,” he said. “Symbolic because Côte d’Ivoire is where the Bank’s headquarters is located. Côte d’Ivoire has served the AfDB well and vice-versa”.

He outlined major issues which will be discussed during 2010 Bank Group Annual Meetings scheduled to start on Thursday, 27 May 2010 in Abidjan. These include the Bank’s general capital increase, the African Development Fund’s twelfth replenishment, the increase in the number of board members and the president’s election.

In this regard, he said "I am confident that tomorrow during the meetings, the Governors will confirm the general capital increase and there will be an ADF XII replenishment”.  He added that “a capital increase will enable us respond to the growing financing needs of various sectors such as Africa’s infrastructure sector. We will use the GCI to attract other funds for the private sector.”

He stressed that a USD 1 invested by the Bank, attracts USD 5 from investors. Regarding the African Development Fund, Mr. Kaberuka said he hoped the replenishment would be a 50% increase.

Answering a question on the president’s election, he said "It will be necessary to wait for the Governors’ votes.”  He however outlined the challenges facing the continent, including a major one which involves "developing this continent’s potential which reflects its youthfulness.”  

The Annual Meetings will be held from 27-28 May 2010. However, seminars have been held since 24 May 2010, ahead of the board of governors meetings. Donald Kaberuka has been the AfDB president since 2005.

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