Meets CitiBank Officials

On the sidelines of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Milton A. Weeks, has held meetings with officials of Citibank, aimed at exploring areas of cooperation between the two institutions, particularly the establishment of corresponding relationships for the CBL and commercial banks in Liberia.

According to a press release, Governor Weeks informed Citibank representatives that CBL needed the corresponding relationships to handle its transactions and manage its reserves.

The Citibank representatives welcomed the meeting and informed the Executive Governor that such collaboration is worth pursuing. The Citibank officials offered to provide guidance that would help to attract corresponding relationships from international banks.

They said Citibank technicians would be willing to work along with their Liberian counterparts to explore other possible areas of collaboration. Governor Weeks also held discussions with the senior managers of the African Export–Import Bank (Afrexim).

The discussions focused mainly on access to finance, especially creating line of credit to guarantee trade finance activities emanating from Liberia. Officials of the bank have agreed to visit Liberia to follow-up on discussions between the two institutions.

The CBL Governor has also held discussions with Executives of the West Africa Monetary Institute (WAMI) on arrangements as Liberia prepares to host the upcoming meeting of Ministers and Governors of the West Africa Monetary Zone (WAMZ).

Governor Weeks has also held meetings with the Director General for West Africa of the AfDB Group, Janvier K. Litse, and the new Governor of the Central Bank of the Gambia, Bakary Jammeh, accompanied by his deputy.

The meetings focused on possible areas of collaboration between the Central Bank of Liberia and the respective institutions.

The CBL Governor is among several Governors of African Central Banks, Finance Ministers and other representatives of other leading financial institutions attending the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the 43rd Meetings of the Board of Governors of the African Development Fund (ADF).

Finance and Development Planning Minister Boima Kamara is heading the Liberian delegation to the meetings in his capacity as Governor of the AfDB for Liberia.

Minister Kamara has also held various bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the Annual Meetings, which opened in Ahmedabad, India, on Tuesday, May 23, with calls for greater cooperation between the bank and India to help drive Africa’s transformation.

Opening the meetings at the Mahatma Ghandi Conference and Exhibition Center, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated India’s strong ties with Africa and promised that Africa would continue to be a top priority for India’s foreign economic policy.

Held on the theme, “Transforming Agriculture for Wealth Creation in Africa,” Prime Minister Modi said his country and the bank can fruitfully join hands for greater partnership. “I have launched an initiative to double farmer’s incomes by 2022,” he disclosed. “It will require concerted steps, ranging from improved seeds and optimum inputs, to reduce crop losses and better marketing infrastructure.” India, he said, is keen to learn from Africa’s experience as the bank and his country proceed on the initiative. Africa, Mr. Modi said, can also benefit from the Indian experience in the development of the agriculture sector.

For his part, AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina spoke of the bank’s new transformation agenda which he said is encapsulated in the High 5s and underscored the need to support the bank with the resources required to enable it accomplish its ambitious programs for the good of the African continent.

He praised the partnership between the AfDB and India over the years and expressed hope that the bank would benefit greatly from India’s success in agriculture. “From being dependent on imports for food security, India has achieved self-sufficiency in the last three years,” said Adesina.

“When we follow India’s model of agriculture, it can help to eradicate poverty in a big way,” he added. According to reports, Africa produces only 10% of the global food output despite having 60% of the arable land in the world. On the contrary, India has to support its population (17% of the world population) with 2% of its land mass.

Tuesday’s opening ceremony was attended by the presidents of Benin and Senegal, the Vice President of Cote d’Ivoire, and other partner countries, including Japan and China.

Governor Weeks is attending alongside Mr. Michael B. Ogun, Senior Advisor on Multilateral Relations; Mr. Fonsia Donzo, Deputy Director, Regulation & Supervision Department; Mr. Jackson Wolobah, Deputy Director, Research Policy & Planning Department, Ms. Lilian Best, Corporate Policy Coordinator and Mr. Cyrus W. Badio, Head of Communications.

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