- Officials from Togo and the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group signed an Aide Memoire in Tunis, outlinning modalities for the clearance of the country's debt to the Bank Group within the framework of the Fragile States Facility (FSF).
The FSF, which was approved by the bank's board on 28 March 2008, is a new mechanism put in place by the AfDB to provide additional financial resources to fragile states in Africa.
The document is considered to be a major step in the ongoing dialogue with Togolese authorities following the accumulation of the countries’ arrears with the bank since 2001. An exchange of letters of understanding by the two parties in 2006 and 2007 culminated in the official visit to the country by AfDB President Donald Kaberuka in February this year.
Mr Kaberuka used the visit to stress the bank's commitment to support Togo in its efforts to normalise socio-political and economic life since the signing of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) in August 2006.
He had discussed the prospects for renewed cooperation, particularly through FSF, with Togolese senior officials.
The bank group's Vice President for Country and Regional Operations, Joseph Eichenberger, described negotiations involving the bank, Togo and other multilateral institutions as positive and constructive, with prospects of the parties reaching an early consensus.
Adji Ayassor, the Togolese Minister of Finance, stated that parallel talks geared towards relaunching financial support during 2008, have been underway between officials of his country and the World Bank and the IMF.
The bank group has started operations in Togo in 1972, and has so far approved 24 operations amounting to almost US $270 million. These commitments cover loans granted from the resources of the ADB window [14%], concessional loans from ADF resources [82%] and the Nigeria Trust Fund [4%].
Currently, the Bank Group’s Portfolio in Togo comprises one active project – the Institutional Capacity Building Support Project of US$ 3.3 million approved in 2006, which aims at strengthening the capacities of the Ministry of Finance.
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