ADB President harps on reforms in Africa

Sirte- Libya (PANA) -- African Development Bank president, Omar Kabbaj has lamented that the inability to deepen and sustain socio-economic and political reforms constitute a central challenge facing African countries.
He said governance reform - with high priority on legal, judicial and financial sector reforms as well as measures to fight corruption and provide more secure property rights - were "critical" for improving the environment for the private sector and stimulating growth.
  "Such reforms are also necessary if poverty is to be reduced and progress towards the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) is to be made," Kabbaj said in a statement to the 5th Ordinary Summit of heads of State of the African Union convening here 4-5 July.
He said 2004 was "an exceptional" year for Africa, with the average GDP growth rate the highest in eight years and inflation the lowest in more than two decades.
Though favourable external factors contributed to that growth, Kabbaj emphasised that African countries must be credited for improved macroeconomic management.
  But he noted that that despite these positive developments, African counties continue to face abject poverty, food insecurity, high illiteracy and limited access to portable water and adequate sanitation, while HIV/AIDS and malaria were yet to be tamed.
  Kabbaj cited that the current levels of ODA "still fall considerably short" of the resource requirements of African countries to achieve the MDGs, and called on donors to increase their ODA to the levels required and improve its quality.
   Kabbaj said the tenth replenishment of the African Development Fund with $5.
4 billion for the 2005-2007 period - the highest in the bank's history - would enable the doubling of resources to multinational projects and an increase in grant resources, with over half of the eligible countries now expected to receive ADF assistance in the form of grants.

05 july 2005 11:37:00




xhtml CSS