The African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Mr. Donald Kaberuka, has assured participants, including African leaders, who attended the just-ended 49th annual meeting in Kigali, Rwanda that the AfDB remains committed to working in all African countries and sectors in ensuring that the needed development to transform the continent takes place.
Making the commitment on May 22 and 23 to African leaders, Bank Governors, Finance Ministers, and representatives of other sectors from all African countries with reference to Rwanda, Dr. Kaberuka said, “We remain a committed friend in this quest for reconstruction and transformation of Rwanda, of this Region and Africa at large.”
While the evidence of AfDB presence exists in many African countries including Liberia, Dr. Kaberuka pointed out that “We, ourselves, had opened up offices in Bangui (Central African Republic) and Juba (South Sudan) and were already at work to help these two countries overcome the many obstacles they face. For now, we have had to close and evacuate our staff, but we remain fully committed once security is restored.”
The 49th annual meeting of the African Development Bank was aimed at devising long-term strategies and finding out from Africans how these strategies can be achieved within 50 years for economic growth and human development in Africa.
Agriculture, infrastructures, science & technology, human capital, health, gender equality, trade and economy, education, youth empowerment amongst others were catching sectors argued and debated during the five-day meeting in Kigali.
As Africans brainstorm to seek solutions aimed at improving in these sectors to bring to reality the Africa they want in 50 years, there also remains concern about terrorist activities in Africa, with reference to Nigeria’s Boko Haram abduction of over 200 school girls in Chibok.
Regarding this impeding situation to development, Dr. Kaberuka said, “We all share a sense of revulsion at what is going on in that corner of northeastern Nigeria and the ramifications. Our hearts and minds go to the people, in the State of Borno, to that school in Chibok. To those innocent girls abducted as they prepared for their exams, and now in captivity for more than a month. I know I speak for you all to say to the captors, the kidnappers of those innocent girls and those who support them: None of the faiths known to humanity would condone that ghastly action. You are fighting a lost cause and you will not succeed.”
The AfDB is a leading financial institution on the continent that finances development projects through loans and grants. The presence of terrorist activities on the continent will affect not only the countries concerned, but will also affect the bank in directions of financial loss and failed projects.
With this he noted, “As Africa’s leading development financial institution, we hold very dear the right for girls to go to school, alongside their brothers. It is at the heart of the demographic dividend. We are at the disposal of the Nigerian Government as to what support we can provide. In that same vein, we vehemently condemn, the violence and terrorist groups bent on interrupting our economic takeoff, spreading mayhem in Nigeria, in Kenya, the Sahel and the Horn.”
Meanwhile, the AfDB President used the occasion to inform the audience and continent that the bank would relocate its headquarters from Tunis, Tunisia to the original headquarters in Abidjan, La Côte d’Ivoire.
He also informed participants that the next meeting for the bank will take place in Abidjan, and will he would step aside to give chance to another person.