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Ensuring a colourful and safe meeting environment – Malabo goes the extra mile
Malabo not only rolled out the red carpet Tuesday for delegates arriving at the ultramodern Sipopo Congress Centre for this year’s Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group, it is also making sure that the event takes place in a safe, colourful and entertaining environment. Delegates were warmly greeted by local dancers with many of them waving white handkerchiefs to arriving dignitaries.
“No doubt this is the right ambience – it’s peaceful, harmonious, colourful and welcoming. It sets the perfect stage for a meaningful meeting,” a delegate from Ghana said.
Strikingly visible to a first-time visitor is the building architecture in parts of the city, particularly along the drive to the Sipopo area. Many of the blocks are state housing schemes for workers.
Malabo is also noted for its delicious local dishes and service providers are sparing no effort in showcasing their variety: seafood, spinach, plantain and the greens.
In the next three days, the delegates will make policy decisions aimed at strengthening the Bank’s role in helping to transform African economies. The meeting is on the theme: “Regional Integration for Africa’s economic prosperity”. There will also be the launch of new initiatives.
It is Equatorial Guinea’s first opportunity to host the biggest event in the Bank Group’s calendar and local authorities are leaving no stone unturned to make it a memorable experience for the participants, who include the world’s top financial policy makers and economic thought leaders.
Apart from the normal screening at the entrances of the Congress Centre, security officers, aided by sniffer dogs, visited all the offices and other working areas to ensure the participants’ complete safety.
Nearly two thousand business leaders, politicians, economists, academics, representatives of multilateral bodies, NGOs and global dignitaries have joined the Bank’s management in the capital for the conference. Some 40 pan African and international journalists are covering the Annual Meetings, which end on Friday.