The Senegalese Prime Minister, Aminata Touré, on Wednesday lauded the achievements of the Africa regional office of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) commending it for professionalism as well as excellent achievements that have benefited all its member countries.
Speaking at the opening of an international forum in Dakar, Ms. Touré noted that since the IDB started its operations in 2007 in the capital city of Senegal, it had been collaborating with other banks from member countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
The meeting brings together delegations from 17 African countries.
However, Ms. Touré urged IDB to strengthen its cooperation with regional and sub-regional institutions such as the African Development Bank (AfDB) as well as the Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).
She also called upon the bank to strengthen its role as a catalyst in the mobilization of financial resources from the Gulf states, multilateral development banks, UN agencies and financial institutions such as banks and investment bodies seeking opportunities, especially in Africa.
In sub-Saharan Africa, noted Ms. Touré, IDB had a programme of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable economic growth and regional integration through its Special Programme for the Development of Africa (SPDA) and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD).
The SPDA is a continuation of the Cooperation Framework of IDB with Africa (2003-2007), to consolidate and strengthen the gains made in the previous programme in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture and food security, and social sectors such as health, education and potable water.
The amount of funding has been put at US$12 billion out of which US$4 billion came from the IDB while US$8 billion was mobilized from other partners and government beneficiaries.
Besides the SPDA and ISFD, the IDB Group has implemented the Bilingual Education Programme, the Programme for the Fight against Malaria, accelerated the programme against blindness and the Jeddah Declaration on food security for its African member countries.
According to Ms Touré, the results of these programmes have been commendable, ranging from increased school enrollment in Niger to surgery for cataract for nearly 9,000 people in eight countries across Africa.
The IDB Chairman, Ahmad Mohamed Ali, said the Bank aimed at becoming a prestigious and world class institution, the most credible partner, the best place to work and the best example as a role model institution founded on respect for values and knowledge sharing.
“The business world class status means that the Bank must combine excellent performance with the ability to get closer to its customers by leaning on the principles of Islam, by contributing significantly to overall human development and reaffirmation of the dignity of the Muslim world,” he said.