Greece is committed to strengthening its cooperation with Africa. With this in mind, an official delegation, led by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, visited the headquarters of the African Development Bank Group to benefit from its expertise and knowledge of the continent.
The Minister, at the head of a delegation, expressed a wish to better understand the Bank’s activities and operations, as well as its functioning and intervention mechanisms.
Simon Mizrahi, African Development Bank Acting Vice President for Technology and Corporate Services, welcomed the Greek delegation on behalf of the Bank’s President. Mizrahi described the Bank Group, Africa’s premier multilateral development finance institution, as the ideal partner for enhanced cooperation with the continent. He stressed that the Bank is rated triple A by the major rating agencies, and emphasized its expertise and its knowledge base that draws on decades of proven experience and a network of prominent partners. These include Agence française de développement, the World Bank and the European Union, he said. Member countries thus have access to compelling data on development axes, projects and trends in Africa.
Gauthier Bourlard, Special Advisor to the Bank’s President, made a presentation on the component entities of the African Development Bank Group. These include the African Development Fund, the concessional window for low income African countries. He explained the Bank’s membership process and governance structure, as well as the functioning of the boards of directors. Bourlard went on to detail the Bank’s financial mechanism and mobilization of resources to transform the African continent.
In addition to its knowledge of markets and investment opportunities in Africa, the Bank Group has significant leverage in mobilizing resources at preferential rates.
Minister Dendias also expressed interest in the Bank’s efforts to address climate change. “Climate change is one of the Bank’s top priorities,” said Simon Mizrahi, who detailed the Bank’s climate finance investments and the climate finance mechanisms it has put in place, including those with partners.
Bourlard made a presentation about the Bank’s flagship Desert to Power initiative, which aims to be the world’s largest photovoltaic energy production (10 GW of capacity) and supply system, benefiting 250 million people in the Sahel region. He said that the Bank has rolled out several climate resilience and adaptation programs, including activities in partnership with the Global Centre on Adaptation.
Security issues, drug trafficking, migration, resource governance.
In response to a request from Minister Dendias for information about the Bank’s efforts to address Africa’s current challenges, Mizrahi explained that the core of its work is to transform the lives of people in Africa by providing tangible opportunities and prospects to certain vulnerable categories. These include women and young people who might attempt to migrate overseas, or participate in illicit activities. In terms of good governance, the Bank has consistently deployed programs and projects aimed at strengthening countries’ capacities in this area.
Dendias concluded his visit by thanking the Bank for the discussions and the quality of the exchanges.
The Greek delegation was composed of Ambassador Ioannis Tsaousis, Director of the diplomatic cabinet of Minister Nikos Dendias, Efthymios-Georges Costopoulos, the Greek ambassador to Senegal and special envoy of the minister of foreign affairs for the Sahel region, and Ioannis Ferentinos, first counselor and deputy spokesperson of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The African Development Bank delegation, led by Simon Mizrahi, comprised Gauthier Bourlard, Catherine Baumont-Keita, Director of the Department of Board Affairs, Mouhamed Ba, Director– Special Initiatives in the Cabinet of Vice President Mizrahi, and Valerie Dabady, Division Manager of Resource Mobilization and Partnerships.