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ADB President Kaberuka: High oil prices complicating the fight against poverty in Africa

Addis Ababa , 27 February 2006 It will be a challenge for African countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) unless sound policies are sustained and international support is more effective, the President of the African Development Bank, Mr. Donald Kaberuka has said.

Mr. Kaberuka said the current record oil prices had complicated policies for macro-economic stability and the fight against poverty and called for the effective implementation of an urgent mechanism to cushion the affected countries.

He said maintenance of internal stability, improved governance, end to violent conflict and sustained reforms were an essential precondition for the attainment of the MDGs.

Speaking during a press conference on Saturday in Addis Ababa at the end of his two-day official visit, he emphasised the critical nature of fighting corruption and greater accountability.

He lauded the efforts by Ethiopia in fighting corruption and urged intensified efforts to tackle the problem everywhere on the continent.

Mr. Kaberuka said the Bank’s cumulative portfolio of 1.9 billion US dollars and a new funding programme of about 410 million US dollars in Ethiopia , were among the largest in Africa . He noted however, that efforts were needed to continuously improve the performance of the portfolio.

“I had very instructive discussions with the Prime Minister, Mr. Meles Zenawi and officials which enabled me to have a clearer picture of the various challenges the country faced in the fight against poverty,” Mr. Kaberuka said.

Before his departure, President Kaberuka and the Ethiopian Minister for Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Sufian Ahmed signed a protocol agreement for a grant of 64 million US dollars in support of the Government’s Rural Water and Sanitation Program.

The ADB Group has financed 79 operations in Ethiopia totalling 1.9 billion US dollars since it began operations in the country in 1975.

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