AfDB President Is African Of The Year

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By Anthony Njie

African Development Bank Group President, Donald Kaberuka, has been named 2013 African of the Year.

He was rewarded for his achievements in mobilising funds for infrastructure projects on the continent.

According to an African Press Organization press release, the 50,000-dollar award which is sponsored by Nigeria’s Daily Trust newspaper was announced Thursday, November 8, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during the African Media Leaders Forum.

Commenting on the award, Tanzania’s erstwhile Foreign Minister and former Secretary-General of the then Organisation of African Unity, Salim Ahmed Salim, said it is a reward for “his bringing to fruition the idea of domestically financed development.”

The Africa50 Fund is a game-changer in the delivery of infrastructure, Slim Ahmed said, adding that Africa must take ownership of its development.

“We are proud to honour an idea whose time has come. Dr. Kaberuka has shown what Africa should do,” he said.

Through the platform of Africa50 Fund, the institution has been able to leverage for infrastructure financing for transformational development projects from African central bank reserves, pension and sovereign wealth funds; the African Diaspora; and high net worth individuals on the continent.

The Fund was endorsed in May 2013 by African Finance Ministers during the Bank’s Annual Meetings in Marrakech, where Kaberuka underscored the critical role of infrastructure in Africa’s development. Image

“The one thing which can really slow down the recent performance in its tracks is infrastructure,” he said. “No country in the world has been able to maintain seven percent GDP growth and above (sustainably) unless the infrastructure bottleneck is overcome.”

The African Development Bank will play a lead role in the Fund, Kaberuka continued: “It will be a vehicle which can build on the AfDB track record and financial strength as investor, financial engineer, attract local and international pools of savings, utilise smart aid and leverage that to up our funding of infrastructure. It will be a strongly rated instrument able to issue a bond of significance – a bond attractive to investors.”

The African institutions including the African Union Commission, UN Economic Commission for Africa, Regional Economic Communities, REC, Regional Development Finance Institutions, DFI, and NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency have also lauded the development efforts of this institution.

Rwandan economist, Kaberuka, leads an institution whose financial standing has been restored from the near collapse of 1995, but whose operational credibility remains a work in progress.

Elected president of the AfDB in July 2005, his institution has made giant strides in infrastructural development which earned him this award.

Kaberuka will be presented his award in a ceremony slated for January 15 in Abuja.

2012’s winner was South Africa’s former President, Thabo Mbeki.

The Forum

This award is presented within the framework of the African Media Initiative’s three-day 6th African Media Leaders’ Forum which started on November 6 this year in Addis Ababa – under the theme: “The African Media in the Last 50 years and the Future.”

The Forum was geared at igniting a public debate and a heads-of-states round-table discussion to provide media leaders with a unique opportunity to engage participating heads of state in a stimulating discussion on pertinent issues around the media and on African governments’ role in expanding the media

The African Media Leaders Forum is the only forum which brings together private and independent media owners and operators from around the continent.

Participants discuss opportunities, evaluate and recommend means to strengthen the role of the African media and the future of the industry.

 

 

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About Cameroon this week
I am a Cameroonian from the south west region, currently concluding my studies in Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Buea. I have a special interest in reporting news about social events.

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