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Continent of opportunities

Parliamentary State Secretary Silberhorn in Kigali in Rwanda on 21 and 22 May for the annual meeting of the African De­vel­op­ment Bank

Africa needs sustainable growth


Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Silberhorn

21.05.2014 |

Kigali – Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment, who was attending the 50th annual meeting of the African De­vel­op­ment Bank (AfDB) in Kigali, highlighted the huge importance of the role played by the Bank in promoting sus­tain­able growth in Africa.

"There needs to be even more value creation in Africa," Silberhorn said, "because only then will it be possible to achieve long-term, sus­tain­able growth and prosperity for the people there. This has been confirmed by the African De­vel­op­ment Outlook 2014 published yesterday. In the BMZ's new Africa Initiative we are making clear offers to our partner coun­tries in this regard."

The motto for this year's annual meeting of the AfDB was "The Next 50 Years: The Africa We Want". The meeting, which ran from 19 to 23 May, was attended by more than 1,500 participants. In addition to official delegates from the over seventy regional and non-regional member coun­tries, numerous representatives from civil society, the private sector and the media were also present.

Silberhorn, who is also Germany’s AfDB Governor, said after a meeting with AfDB Director Donald Kaberuka: "Like the BMZ, the AfDB also sees Africa as a continent of opportunity with vast assets and potential. There are many points of contact between the AfDB and the BMZ. And the Bank’s projects, for example in the infrastructure sector or to support fragile states, often complement the work that we are doing. That is why the AfDB with its strong African ownership will remain one of our most im­por­tant de­vel­op­ment partners in Africa. However, the Bank must also show now that it is in a position to put its ambitious long-term strategy into practice in ways that are both impact-oriented and cost-effective."

With new initiatives like "Africa 50" to finance major regional infrastructure projects, the Bank wants to contribute towards strengthening African ownership in the building of a new Africa. At the same time the AfDB is facing huge institutional challenges during its 50th year of existence. These challenges include among other things the Bank's return to Abidjan in Côte d'Ivoire. When civil war broke out in Côte d'Ivoire in 2003, the AfDB temporarily moved its headquarters from Abidjan to the Tunisian capital, Tunis.

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