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African Development Bank’s 52nd Annual Meeting Kicks Started in Gandhinagar, Gujarat

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The 52nd Annual Meetings of the African Development bank is getting organized Gandhinagar, Gujarat from 22 to 26 May 2017. This is the first time that the Annual Meetings of AfDB are being held in India.

These Meetings are the Bank’s largest annual event and serve to raise the profile of the institution on the global stage. In addition to the Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors, these Meetings will bring together about 3000 delegates and participants, and will feature a number of official, knowledge, and side events. The Governors of the Bank are from the 54 African regional member countries and 27 non-regional member countries (including India). The Annual Meetings provide a unique forum for representatives of government, business, civil society, think-tanks, academia and the media – from Africa and beyond – to debate key issues on Africa’s development, and to discuss the Bank’s performance in delivering on its mandate.

Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi will be participating in the inaugural session. Mr Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister is India’s Governor to AfDB and would be conducting the meetings as the Chair. Heads of State / Government who would be attending these meetings:

Senegal: H.E. President Macky SALL

Benin Republic: H.E. President Patrice TALON

Republic of Cote D’Ivoire: H.E. Vice President Daniel Kablan DUNCAN

Union of Comoros: H.E Vice President D. A. S. HASSANI

In addition to the above, the former President of Ghana, H.E. John Dramani MAHAMA would also be attending the Annual Meetings 2017.

Reflecting the significance of agriculture in Africa and in the Bank’s development work, the 2017 Annual Meetings will be held on the theme: “Transforming Agriculture for Wealth Creation in Africa.” There is a great scope for a greater synergy between India and Africa in order to achieve our shared goal of rural and agricultural transformation, which would go a long way in reducing rural poverty and improving the quality of lives of rural people.

India joined the African Development Fund in 1982, and became a member of the Bank in 1983. India is a non-regional member of the Bank. India and Africa share a great relationship, and have great degree of commonalities in terms of a shared history, and current challenges. In the recent past, we have taken a number of initiatives to further deepen our association.

India Africa Forum Summit 2015 was a great success. The announcement of a US$ 10 billion line of credit by the Prime Minister of India marked a new beginning in our approach to engage with African countries in a more constructive manner.

On the occasion of the Annual Meetings, GOI is organizing an India-Africa Dialogue in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). The sessions will broadly sensitize Indian industry and fraternity about the Bank’s High 5s Agenda – especially to help in building a roadmap of how can Indian industry contribute to ‘Industrialise Africa’ and move the continent up in the Global Value Chains (GVCs).

The Government of India is also organizing an exhibition in partnership with FICCI during the Annual Meetings of the Bank with the objective to showcase the capabilities of Indian companies in terms of technology, innovation, and start-ups, which could be relevant for African countries. The theme of the exhibition is centered around priority areas of the Bank, i.e., the “High 5s” (Energy, Healthcare and Pharma, Agriculture, Industrialization, e-Governance).

On the sidelines, we are also organizing an event on the International Solar Alliance. At the event, the Framework Agreement of ISA would be kept open for signature, and we would also accept ratification documents from those countries that have completed the ratification process. So far 25 countries have signed the Framework Agreement of ISA. Guatemala, Djibouti, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Chad, Comoros, Mauritius, Yemen and Somalia have agreed to sign the Framework Agreement. India, France, Nauru and Fiji have already ratified the Framework Agreement of ISA. Mauritius and Comoros would be ratifying the Framework Agreement shortly. The ISA as a legal entity will come into being once 15 countries ratify the Framework Agreement.

The purpose of these events is primarily to reinforce our shared commitment, and further strengthen our cooperation framework with Africa. Given the perfect alignment between Bank’s development priorities and India’s growth experience and engagement with Africa, there is tremendous potential for collaboration.

A Special Session on India-Japan co-operation for development of Africa is also being organized. At this side event, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC), in cooperation with their partner organizations in India and Africa including the African Development Bank, will discuss the promotion of African business through private-public partnerships between Japan and India, in order to contribute to the development of the African economy.

. The meeting in Gandhinagar is the fourth time that the Annual Meetings of AfDB are being held outside Africa. The first such meeting took place in Valencia, Spain in 2001, the second in Shanghai, China in 2007, and the third in Lisbon, Portugal in 2011. The next meeting of AfDB is scheduled to be held in Busan, South Korea in 2018.

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