Donald Kaberuka reiterates AfDB confidence in Côte d’Ivoire to the press

AfDB Group President Donald Kaberuka

As part of the return of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) to Abidjan, AfDB Group President Donald Kaberuka spoke to the national and international media accredited in Côte d’Ivoire at a press conference held on August 19,  2014.

“The AfDB is now back in the Ivorian capital, its registered office since 1964. We are glad to be back home,” he said in his opening remarks.

“This return is effective with my presence, that of the Vice-Presidents and 1,000 staff already settled in the Ivorian economic capital, in anticipation of the 500 staff who will arrive in the days to come. Conditions are right to enable the AfDB to work effectively,” Kaberuka continued.

Donald Kaberuka reiterated his gratitude to the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, which he said, “has spared no effort to prepare our return, including the renovation of the CCIA building where we now are.”

He did, however, wish to recall the profound changes experienced by the Bank in a decade during which it has tripled its capital. This growth in capital has the corollary of an increase in the Bank’s intervention budget on the continent, with a portfolio of some $9 billion for 2014.

In the course of his discussions with the press, Kaberuka reaffirmed the confidence of the Bank in the Ivorian Government. The return to Abidjan of the premier African financial institution is a sign of confidence and a powerful symbol: a symbol of the renaissance of the Ivorian economy after a decade of recession, and a symbol of the reconstruction of Ivorian society.

Also, the Bank wishes to fully involve itself in the country’s reconstruction process, through the financing of infrastructure projects and budget support.

In fact, the AfDB active portfolio in Côte d’Ivoire currently has 11 operations amounting to a total of approximately €233 million.  These are mainly infrastructure projects in a context of post-conflict rebuilding. Half of the resources are allocated to the private sector for such projects as the construction of the Henri Konan Bédié Bridge, and the extension of the Azito and Ciprel power stations.

The AfDB President also expressed the Bank’s concern at the Ebola outbreak that is raging in West Africa. For this reason he announced that the AfDB Board had called an emergency meeting on August 18, 2014 to approve the immediate implementation of a multinational $60 million grant.

The aim of this grant is to control the spread of the Ebola epidemic in the four affected countries of West Africa: Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. The AfDB grant will be made to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Sub-regional Ebola Coordination Centre based at Conakry, Guinea, in the light of its vast experience in the management of global epidemics.

Kaberuka closed by announcing that the first meeting in Abidjan of the AfDB Group Board of Directors would be held on September 8, 2014, a meeting that will focus on the celebration of the institution’s 50th anniversary in November 2014.