TUNIS, Tunisia, June 21 -- The African Development Bank issued the following news release:
At a ceremony held on 20 June 2014 in Tunis, the Tunisian Government expressed its appreciation of the African Development Bank (AfDB) for its crucial role in the transformation of the country's economy.
The ceremony, organised by the Ministry of International Cooperation, was intended as an expression of the gratitude of the Tunisian Government and people to Africa's leading development institution.
Tunisian dignitaries who spoke on this occasion highlighted the invaluable contribution made by AfDB to their country's transformation, not only since its inception, but also after its temporary relocation to Tunis in 2003.
"As the Bank is preparing to return to its headquarters in Abidjan after eleven years of temporary relocation to Tunis, the Tunisian Government wishes to express its gratitude to the Bank for its role in the relaunch of the Tunisian economy. We know that wherever you may be, you will continue to support us", said Minister of Economy and Finance, Hakim Ben Hammouda.
After the revolution of 14 January 2011, the Tunisian economy was affected by social movements that had a negative impact on the economy. "You have always been close to Tunisia", added Dr Ben Hammouda, "and AfDB was the first institution to help Tunisia, providing one billion dollars of financial assistance to support its transition".
On behalf of the Board, director Shahid Khan expressed his gratitude to Tunisia for its generous hospitality. "During the revolution, what mattered to the AfDB Board and management was to support your country. This commitment has been relevant and has enabled us to now see the transformation of Tunisia. It was a good decision under the leadership of AfDB president Donald Kaberuka", said Mr Khan. And, of course, the Bank's commitment will remain.
The professionalism of AfDB's Tunisian staff
Dr Kaberuka in turn highlighted the important place of Tunisia in the life of the Bank as one of the institution's founding members. He also remarked on the legendary Tunisian hospitality, which the AfDB and its staff had benefited from when they needed it most. Dr Kaberuka added, "The choice of Tunisia has been positive. In the course of these years we have worked in the best possible conditions and I appreciate the professionalism of the Bank's Tunisian staff."
Dr Kaberuka said that the AfDB's decade in Tunisia had been very rewarding both professionally and personally. "We have learnt a lot and woven personal and professional relationships. I would like to thank you for this. We are returning to Abidjan, but we are not leaving Tunisia," he concluded.
The AfDB portfolio in Tunisia, the Bank's second biggest, includes 16 operations and 24 technical assistance projects to a total value of 1.3 billion UA (about US$ 2 billion).
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