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Tunisia: AfDB’s return to Abidjan not imminent

“No decision has been taken yet regarding the imminent return of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to Abidjan,” AfDB External Relations and Communication Director Richard Uku told TAP news agency.

“Nothing has changed since the resolution of the governors’ council announced in the last annual assemblies of the Bank, in Lisbon, Portugal, on June 10, 2011. It set a three-year period during which the institution could at any time envisage its return to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, if the conditions are favorable,” he went on saying.

He specified that “the date of the return has not been fixed yet and nothing changed since June,” while reminding that the AfDB headquarters in Tunisia is “a Temporary Relocation Agency (TRA).”

AfDB presents two conditions for a return to Ivory Coast headquarters, “the restoration of maximum security conditions in that country and rehabilitation of the Bank’s premises in Abidjan.”

Conditions for the return are being looked at on a regular basis by a bipartite commission made up of senior representatives of the Ivorian government and AfDB. This commission meets once a year to make a regular review of the situation.

According to the official, “AfDB will always keep a strong presence in Tunisia where it has settled for 8 years.”

The country is the Bank’s second historical partner with an added-up investment amount of 5.5 billion Euros and more than one hundred projects achieved.

Tunisia is presently the second most important beneficiary in volume—after Egypt—in loan operations, technical assistance, and the Bank’s economic and sectoral studies.

He pointed out that “AfDB supports and will carry on supporting development in Tunisia and will accompany its people in the democratic transition.”

The Bank is presently funding 19 projects with a budget of more than two billion Euros. In 2011, other projects have been approved, including financing the Tunisia-Libya motorway (Medenine-Ras Jdir section) and two loans to develop water supply in rural areas and access to financial services for the SMEs.

AfDB is also striving with other development partners as part of the “Deauville Partnership,” initiated by the G8 and G20 meetings.

An accord has already been signed with the European Reconstruction and Development Bank. AfDB accepted to host the secretariat of the “Deauville Partnership” to co-ordinate action of all these financial partners and follow up their financial commitments.

AfDB settled in Tunisia, in 2003, during the Ivory Coast crisis. It has always been headquartered in Abidjan since its creation, in 1964.


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