"The Mozambican government is strongly committed to hosting the 2008 Annual Meetings of the Bank Group. The government, private sector players and the civil society are strongly committed to successfully hosting the 2008 Annual Meetings," says Mozambique’s Planning and Development Minister and AfDB Governor for the country, Aiuba Cuereneia, in an interview with the Bank Group’s internal newsletter.
Question: Thank you for granting us this interview. Would you kindly explain to Bank staff the reason for your visit? You have certainly brought some good news to the Bank given that your country is hosting the 2008 Annual Meetings.
Answer: My presence at the Bank’s temporary relocation agency is to brief Bank Group authorities on the level of preparation for the Annual Meetings scheduled to take place in Maputo from May 14-15, 2008. My delegation and I had the opportunity to meet with Bank Group Board members and we have succeeded to brief them on the level of the preparation regarding food, accommodation and infrastructure. We have also briefed the Board on the country’s economic and social situation. We have also told the Board that preparations are on track and all the facilities are in place for the organization of a successful meeting.
Question: Why is Mozambique hosting the Annual Meetings? This is the first time in the institution’s history that a Portuguese-speaking country is hosting the Bank’s Annual Meetings.
Answer: It is a great honor for us to host the Annual Meetings as a Portuguese-speaking country. We did file an application to host the meetings and after an assessment of our request and the facilities we have, the Board of Governors found that our country was in a position to host the meetings. Hosting these meetings for the first time will be a great pride for the rest of Portuguese-speaking African countries. It will push the Bank to use Portuguese as one of its working languages.
Question: Part of the country has recently been hit by floods. What particular measures has your government taken to ensure the success of the meetings?
Answer: I would like to inform you that floods, cyclones and earthquakes are hitting us lately in a cyclical manner. Fortunately or unfortunately, the country is learning to live with those disasters. Whenever we are hit by these cyclones, life still goes on. The current floods hitting Mozambique are taking place in the central part of the country, which is roughly one thousand kilometers from the meeting place in Maputo. Maputo is in solidarity with those who have been hit by the floods. But Maputo is not the flooded area. I am also pleased to inform you that we have had support from the Bank Group to cushion the effects of the floods. Whenever we get hit, life goes on and our economy is flourishing. So we have been learning from the disasters. Currently, we go as far as forecasting those disasters and planning for the country’s development. If you go to Maputo these days, you will take a shower from the water supply network and not from the river basin because of the floods.
Question: You’ve had discussions with Bank Group Secretary-General, Modibo Toure. You had a tête-à-tête with President Donald Kaberuka and you also discussed with members of the Board of Directors. Do you have any special message for Bank staff?
Answer: The special message I brought to the Board is that the government, private sector players and the civil society are strongly committed to successfully hosting the 2008 Annual Meetings. We will do our best to show our invited guests from the African Development Bank Group we are united and hospitable. We have had strong encouragement and moral support from the President, the Secretary General and the Board. We consider these Annual Meetings both as the Bank’s meeting and the Government of Mozambique’s meetings and we are doing all we can to succeed.