March 8, 2014
Earlier this month Luxembourg became the 26th non-regional member country of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, a move the country hopes further confirms its commitment to contributing to Africa’s development and one that AfDB said signifies to other foreign countries that the continent is an attractive place for doing business.
During the official signing ceremony, which took place on May 10 in Luxembourg, AfDB’s President Donald Kaberuka noted that Luxembourg’s membership is an additional testimony that the AfDB is very attractive. “This testifies, if need be, of the crucial role our institution plays in support of African economies and the well-being of the populations,” Kaberuka said. “As we welcome Luxembourg, this reminds us that we should do more to improve the living conditions of Africans by focusing on inclusive growth, as the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy indicates.”
Through its membership in the AfDB, Luxembourg further hopes to strengthens its long-standing interest and support for Africa and its relationships with those African countries that are the focus of Luxembourg’s cooperation on the continent. “Sub-Saharan Africa is the primary area of concentration of our cooperation. Therefore, our membership will reinforce the country’s action in favor of its African partners,” said Luxembourg Minister of Finance Pierre Gramegna.
Commenting on AfDB’s interventions on the ground, Gramegna said AfDB’s policies and strategies, as well as those of Luxembourg’s development assistance, contribute to the same sustainable development objective of reducing poverty on the African continent.
Gramegna highlighted two specific areas of focus for his government: renewable energy and the financial sectors. Gramegna said the Ministry of Cooperation and Humanitarian Action and the Ministry of Finance would reinforce collaboration to optimize the impact of the Luxembourg’s intervention in the sector of renewable energy. As for the financial sector, Luxembourg will specifically support this sector, given the crucial role of financial markets in sustainable development.
Speaking with the media following the ceremony, Kaberuka said he has hope for Africa’s future, given the dynamism he observes in African countries. “This dynamism,” he said, “is not due to financial capital countries bring to the table. It is due to African human capital, to the actions of African men and women. They constitute the true capital.”
Kaberuka added that for growth, “African countries should go beyond growth to ensure that the current trend translates into true improvement of the living conditions of a large number of people. Growth is good for social justice, as well as for countries’ development dynamics. The AfDB will continue to provide its support towards that end through its Ten Year Strategy.”
The AfDB’s triple-A rating helps the institution mobilize resources for the development of countries, as well as to be competitive on financial markets, which is good for countries. “This is the reason why we do all we can to remain competitive,” said Kaberuka.
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