Secretary General of the trading bloc, Liberat Mfumukeko said when he met the President of African Development Bank(AfDB) Dr Akinwumi Adesina at the Pan -African bank’s headquarters in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
During the meeting, the Secretary General briefed the president on the progress in the four pillars of integration and articulated the support needed from the Bank.
Mfumukeko appreciated and acknowledged the great support provided by the bank especially in the area of infrastructure and financial sector. In their discussion, the Secretary General took the opportunity to discuss other isssues. The EAC boss specifically sought support in the areas of agriculture, and industry.
He also requested support for implementation of the EAC heads of state approved infrastructure projects during their retreat in Kampala, Uganda in February 2018.
Amb. Mfumukeko informed the president that the EAC heads of state approved a list of 286 infrastructure projects which are estimated to cost US$78 billion to implement over a period of 10 years.
For his part, the president of the AfDB pointed out that EAC is the most active and dynamic regional economic bloc with very clear results and a very high level of political momentum.
Dr. Adesina lauded EAC for the great gains made in implementation of the Customs Union and the Common Market where he specifically noted the progress in free movement of people and increased trade.
Some of the key agreements made during the meeting were AfDB will provide more support to Agriculture and Industry and especially agri- industrialisation where the president noted that it is critical to link infrastructure projects with agriculture development and industrial development for the benefits to reach the common citizenry in EAC.
The bank also agreed to support establishment of a coordination and capacity building unit at the EAC headquarters noting that the AfDB portfolio has grown and therefore need for more coordination, strategic and analytical capacity.
AfDB committed to present EAC bankable projects to the AfDB coordinated African Investment Forum in November 2019 in South Africa. A joint team of EAC and AfDB will work on preparing bankable projects for presentation to that effect.