TUE, MAY 14 2019-theG&BJournal-African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina completed a three-day visit to the Republic of Congo on 12 May 2019, reaffirming the Bank’s strong partnership with the Central African country.
At a meeting with Congolese President Denis Sassou-Nguesso in his hometown, Oyo, some 460 km from the capital, Brazzaville, Adesina declared the Bank’s support for the country’s development plans.
“I wish to inform you that the African Development Bank will continue to support the Government of Congo and the implementation of the National Development Plan. I have great confidence in your leadership and the excellent work and efforts of the government,” Adesina said.
Congo is the fourth largest Sub-Saharan oil producer, with an output of 360,000 barrels-per-day from reserve estimates of around 1.6 billion barrels. It produces around 240 million cubic feet of gas daily from reserves estimated at 111 billion cubic feet.
While commending the country’s bold steps to deal with internal debt, Adesina said the government needed to create incentives in the non-oil sector to spur manufacturing and industry to boost private sector investments and small-to-medium businesses.
The African Development Bank delegation, led by Adesina, and accompanied by President Nguesso, visited the Port of Oyo and other projects including a High School of Technology with the capacity to enroll up to 10,000 students.
He commended the school project and suggested it should be renamed a ‘Regional Institute of Science and Technology of Congo’ to enable it to serve the region.
The Bank delegation also visited the Oyo Museum, a bio milk processing unit, a large cattle ranch and an ostrich farm. The ranch, which has close to 1,900 cattle and 245 Congolese employees, could be a major employer in the region, Adesina noted.
The Bank’s delegation also met with Congolese Premier Clement Mboumba, the Minister of Planning, the Governor for Congo, and private businessmen and development partners.
The Bank plans to substantially increase its development assistance for the country, from $290 million to $1.7 billion in the next four years. This includes $530 million to support the creation of a training school for youth entrepreneurs in agribusiness to boost agriculture.
Congo is endowed with tropical rain forests with vast uncultivated arable land accounting for around a third of its total area.