Question: What does your country expect from the Bank after signing this agreement on its contribution to the Partnership Secretariat of "Making finance work for Africa"?
Answer: As you know, the current worldwide financial crisis and consequently an economic slowdown globally, is dominating the headlines for months now. The Netherlands should not and will not forget Africa in this situation. Africa is the most important partner for European Union countries and for my country in particular. The Netherlands has played a particular constructive role as a catalyst for the increased aid commitments and consolidating its integrated approach in a new Africa strategy. That is the reason why we need to support financial institutions in Sub Saharan Africa to make finance work in the continent, in terms of developing private sectors, SMEs, and infrastructure. The Netherlands attaches great importance to the African continent’s development efforts including the ownership of these efforts and is therefore very supportive of the Partnership of Making finance work for Africa. To put things in clear terms: we as Member States and shareholder countries of this Bank, we must collectively play our role putting African people first . We are convinced that our common assistance will be matched by improved governance records in Africa in all its aspects.
Question: What is your country’s priority in terms of development in Africa?
Answer: The Netherlands is committed to contribute directly to the realization of MDG and to that end we target the following: by 2015, many Africans will have access to water supply and sanitation services as well as sustainable energy. Our priority is to provide direct access to water and energy with special emphasis on women and girls. We consider the Bank as an important player in the water and energy sectors in Africa and would like to explore co-funding possibilities of ADB lending operations in these fields.
Question: Kindly tell our readers about the cooperation between your country and the Bank.
Answer: AfDB and The Netherlands have built a real partnership , and this is not only true for the administrative and technical cooperation. It is no secret that the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is a regular Guest at AfDB in sharing his expertise in water and sanitation issues in Africa. Similarly the President of the AfDB is a regular Guest in the Netherlands in sharing his perspectives on the development efforst in Africa.
Interview by: Aristide Ahouassou, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +216-7110-3414