World Bank president to Visit Ethiopia during Africa tour
World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick is to arrive in Ethiopia next Saturday at the start of a four-day visit, the last leg of his eight-day, three- nation Africa visit, a statement from the organization's Ethiopia office said on Friday, Xinhua reported.
The visit is to help focus the attention of African governments, development partners and private investors on seizing the opportunity for renewed momentum in economic growth and overcoming poverty. Although hit by the global food, fuel and financial crises, African governments have persisted in strengthening their economic policies as they pursue development, or rebuild after conflict, the statement said.
Ahead of the trip, Zoellick noted that many sub-Saharan African countries had enjoyed a decade or more of solid growth before the crisis and it was important to preserve and expand on these gains by drawing investment to high growth areas.
"I am visiting Africa to learn about how its people have coped with the global economic crisis and to see how the World Bank Group can work with them to improve prospects for economic growth and expanded opportunity. Much of Africa has a solid record of economic growth, including in some of Africa's fragile states, and it has the potential to be another pole of growth for the world economy," Zoellick said.
In Ethiopia, Zoellick will meet with African Heads of State attending the African Union summit, including the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Meles Zenawi. He will hold discussions with African leaders on climate change; visit a shoe-making factory owned by an Ethiopian female entrepreneur, and staffed by under-privileged Ethiopians who craft shoes retailed globally.
He will also visit the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange which has helped the country transit rapidly from rudimentary methods of marketing agricultural products to the kind of sophisticated platforms offered by globally-accessible modern electronic facilities, the statement added.
The World Bank has been helping to fight poverty and improve the living standards for the people of Ethiopia since 1945. This country is one of the largest beneficiaries of the World Bank's concessional lending program, the International Development Association.