LIBREVILLE, January 10, 2014 – The World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region, Mr. Makhtar Diop, will arrive in Libreville on Sunday, January 12 for a two-day working visit. He will meet with Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Prime Minister Raymond Ndong Sima, government ministers, civil society and private sector groups, academics, and the media.
Mr. Diop’s visit, the first by a World Bank Africa Vice President since 2002, will focus on the development challenges facing Gabon and on seeing first-hand how the World Bank can step-up its program in the middle-income country to better help its poor and vulnerable families escape poverty and pursue lives with better health, education, and more opportunity.
“The visit by Vice President Makhtar Diop to Gabon will signal the importance attached by the World Bank to the country and strengthen high-level dialogue between the Bank and the Republic of Gabon. This visit will allow him to discuss the paradox faced by resource-rich African countries where high levels of poverty nonetheless persist. He will also discuss how the World Bank can better assist communities living in the wider Central Africa region,” says Ms. Zouera Youssoufou, World Bank Country Manager for Gabon.
Mr. Diop’s visit will coincide with the launch of a significant US$58 million telecommunications project with Gabon which marked the first development financing agreement between the World Bank and Gabon in seven years.
In addition, the World Bank and the Republic of Gabon concluded a technical assistance agreement covering key areas such as health, education, public financial management and macro-economic financial management.
The World Bank is one of Gabon’s leading development partners. The 2012-2016 strategic partnership agreed upon by the World Bank and Gabon consists of a US$300 million portfolio and covers telecommunications, energy, institutional reforms, and economic diversification.