“The ADB is proceeding from the stage of promises to concrete action for the Tunisian economy,” said AfDB President Donald Kaberuka during a press conference held on Wednesday at the Bank’s premises.
Before an audience of journalists, he emphasized his deep and constant interest in providing support to the Tunisian government where strong support is needed from all stakeholders.
The Board of Directors of AfDB has already approved a loan of 500 million dollars to be disbursed in one installment with the objective of reducing regional disparities by improving access to social services in underserved areas, creating and promoting jobs and strengthening citizen voice and accountability. “It is an action through which we want to give a sign of confidence to investors and those interested in the Tunisian economy,” said AfDB President.
Beyond this budget support, action will focus on the realization of other programs.
Moreover, the board will approve next June 21, a loan of $ 200 million for the construction of the Gabes Ras-Jdir highway.
Kaberuka announced, in the same context, that another loan of 150 million will be granted to the Tunisian government for water supply in rural areas.
This is a strategic approach on the part of this international institution which has expressed its commitment to support also private companies by granting them non-guaranteed loans.
“Our goal is to support development in the first place and then analyze the risk by paying attention to the effect of crowding-out. This encourages us to be present in large projects in energy and infrastructure, supporting all the same private companies that create wealth and jobs without asking the government guarantee.”
Asked about his position vis-à-vis the debt of Tunisia, the AfDB chief highlighted the importance of taking into account the quality and composition of these debts. The key element is proper management of public debt and the good use of loans with a good composition of these loans. For the bank, figures posted by Tunisia are very modest for a country that aspires to become a privileged site in terms of FDI.
“For ADB, this is a good debt for a country willing to be competitive. This will allow Tunisia that behaves well in comparison with other Mediterranean countries with a 5% increase in exports to stimulate a large number of investors.
That assessment from the African institution enhances its efforts for the benefit of Tunisia, the most recent of which was the granting of a loan worth one billion dollars. This loan will be distributed as follows: $ 500 million for the process of recovering the socio-economic stability in Tunisia, 200 million for the promotion of infrastructure and 150 million to be devoted to agriculture and water supply in disadvantaged areas.