A senior leadership team from the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has arrived in the southern African capital Gaborone, on the first leg of an official visit to Botswana and Zimbabwe
The delegation is led by acting vice president, regional development, Integration and Business Delivery Yacine D. Fal. It includes Prof. Kevin Chika Urama, acting chief economist and vice president for the economic governance and knowledge management complex; director general for the Southern Africa region, Leila Mokaddem; deputy director general Kennedy Mbekeani, Martha Phiri, director of the bank's human capital, youth and skills department, and Jean-Guy Afrika, AfDB’s acting director for the Regional Integration Coordination Office.
The visit underscores the AfDB’s firm commitment to the southern African region’s growth prospects and to deepen engagement with SADC at the strategic and technical levels, Fal said.
In Botswana from 4-5 April, the team will meet with several government and industry leaders, including the deputy minister of Finance Olesitse H. Masimega. Their discussions will centre on the bank’s support to Botswana’s economic transformation agenda and a post-COVID-19 economic recovery. The bank has provided US$137mn in loans to support Botswana's economic recovery from the pandemic. The delegation will also hold talks with the Southern African Development Community’s deputy executive secretary for regional integration, Dr. Thembinkosi Mhlongo.
In Zimbabwe, from 5-8 April, the delegation will meet President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa and other members of government. Talks will focus on Bank support to Zimbabwe’s arrears clearance.
The AfDB’s active portfolio in Botswana amounts to US$223mn. Meanwhile, in Zimbabwe, the bank currently supports 15 initiatives valued at US$176mn.