Dakar, Senegal (PANA) - The Director General of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), Mr. Abdelaziz Khelef, is expected in Niamey on 19 December for an official visit to Niger, PANA learnt Wednesday from sources close to the bank.
During his stay in Niger, Khelef will hold talks with high-ranking niger government officials, including president Mahamadou Issoufou.
The visit comes as part of BADEA’s communication process with its partner/beneficiary countries during which the Director General will seize the opportunity to discuss the mutual cooperation issues between Niger and BADEA and the status of some of the on-going and future programme with the objective of exploring the various ways and means of enhancing and promoting such cooperation for the benefit of the beneficiaries.
During the visit, the Director General will sign a loan agreement totaling US$ 10 million to help finance the “Construction of the “Irlet-Asmaka”-Algeria Border Road Project.
The project falls under NEPAD’s potfolio and it is part of the desert road that links the countries of North Africa with countries in West Africa.
The project aims to break the isolation of the landlocked countries of Niger, Chad and Mali. It will also improve and secure traffic, link production centres and contribute to the economic development of Niger. It also aims to contribute to the support of trade exchanges between the countries of the Maghreb and sub-Saharan African countries (Mali, Niger, Chad and Nigeria).
PANA recalls that the cooperation between Niger and BADEA commenced in 1975 and by the end of October 2011, BADEA’s total gross assistance to Niger reached US$ 94.4 million.
BADEA is an independent International Institution established by virtue of an agreement between 18 Arab States in February 1974, for the purpose of strengthening the African-Arab cooperation and linkages.
Its operations are exclusively directed to the benefit of African countries who are non-members of the League of Arab States and include all 43 Sub-Saharan African states, in addition to a number of regional organizations.
The operations, in the form of concessionary project loans, technical assistance grants for capacity building grants and trade finance loans cover all economic sectors.
BADEA’s total cumulative financial commitments to African countries eligible for its aid, since commencement of operations in 1975 until October 2011, stands at US$ 4144.127 million.
The commitments have been earmarked for 523 development projects, 526 technical assistance operations, 39 loans for the private sector and 14 special operations (in the context of Emergency Aid Programme which was targeted to several African countries effected by drought and desertification).
The projects selected by BADEA are those, which are technically, economically and environmentally viable and the country programme are demand driven and are subject to the priority of the partner countries and fit within their medium and short-term development programme.
-0- PANA PR/VAO 14Dec2011