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AfDB, Eritrea Strengthen Partnership To Boost Industrialization

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President of AfDB, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said the Bank is committed to supporting Eritrea’s development, including its goal of self-reliance.

He announced this during a visit to the Eritrean President, Isaias Afwerki, who had been consistent with his engagement with the Bank since Eritrea joined the institution nearly 30 years ago.

Adesina is the first African Development Bank president to visit Eritrea, which joined the institution in 1994.

Adesina said: “I had an excellent visit to Eritrea. I came away highly impressed by the passion to develop and the incredible resilience and self-reliance of the Eritrean people. The best part was when I was told by a United Nations (UN) senior-level official that in Eritrea, corruption is zero per cent. Another UN senior official said Eritrea’s capacity for pharmaceuticals meets all World Health Organization (WHO) global standards.

“The capacity and first-rate skills of Eritrean engineers are amazing and should be shared with other African countries. President Isaias Afwerki is so passionate, determined very simple. Eritrea and its highly committed people have all it takes to rapidly grow and thrive in the years ahead.

“As President of the African Development Bank, I can assure you that under my leadership, the African Development Bank will be there to support Eritrea’s drive to transform its economy. It can only get better with all the projects we have talked about today. If we work together, I know that Eritrea will be a much better country in many ways.

“Also, there is the need to prioritize agro-industrialization to further grow the agriculture sector and ensure food stability.”

Adesina also proposed the African Development Bank’s Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones initiative as a model for transforming Eritrea’s rural communities into prosperous economic zones, harnessing the power of commercial agriculture and food production.

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki thanked Adesina for the strategic role the Bank was playing in improving the lives of the Eritrean people.

He said the country had identified the African Development Bank Group as the partner of choice to drive rapid socio-economic development and to move its economy “from subsistence to industrialization.”

Afwerki said, “We have had fruitful engagements with the Bank and want to do more with the institution on a sustainable level.”

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