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Speeches & Transcripts

President Robert B Zoellick Press Avail with African Development Bank President

May 4, 2011

Robert B Zoellick and Donald Kaberuka Press Avail with African Development Bank President Tunisia

Transcript

MR. KABERUKA: I've got to say, we're very pleased to receive Bob Zoellick here today. I think his visit to the Bank in North Africa is critically important. I think it is a sign of confidence in this Region. We are working very closely together with the World Bank to support the Tunisia in this period of transition, and I am pleased that he is here today for us to consult further on how it can support Tunisia to ensure that the country keeps moving on, and I want, again, to thank you both for the cooperation.
 
MR. ZOELLICK: Well, I want to thank Donald and his team for making time to see us. We have found that our colleagues at the African Development Bank are extraordinarily good partners. So, I wanted, during this visit, to come and consult and share some perspectives about Tunisia but also Egypt, Morocco, Libya, all the issues happening across the broader Middle East and North Africa.
 
We are absolutely delighted that, in Tunisia-that the African Development Bank and the World Bank were able to provide early signals of support which I think are very important for the confidence of the country and not only in terms of the financing, but also some of the policy reforms, some of the steps in terms of improving governance, transparency, the freedom of association law, but also some of the efforts to create jobs, improve the employment system, and focus on the lagging regions.
 
So, later today, I'm going out to Beja to be able to see one of the projects we developed there focusing on some of the community development but also with agriculture and soil and some of the basic irrigation systems. But I've always found Donald for many years to a be a wonderful counselor and supporter, and we are deepening ties with the African Development Bank. In fact, every time I come around, I meet former World Bank people or current World Bank people. So, we are glad that we can share colleagues with one another.
 
One other point that I think Donald and I have emphasized, that this is really a historic moment for Tunisia and the whole Region. And so, I think, together, we want to try to lean forward and support a process that is important not only for the people of Tunisia but we think can be important in history. And so, it gives me an opportunity to listen and to learn. It all started here, and this is a wonderful area of the Bank and the African Development Bank being able to cooperate more closely.
 
So, thank you.
 
SPEAKER: Thank you.