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African Development Bank Concludes Annual Meetings
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The African Development Bank (AfDB) brought the curtain down on its two-day annual meetings in Shanghai on Thursday, after conclusively forging closer Africa-China ties.


ADB President Donald Kaberuka hailed the meeting as a success, singling out the constructive range of issues addressed and an organization he deemed flawless.


Around 2,000 people gathered in Shanghai including such dignitaries as Rwandan President Paul Kagame, President of Cape Verde Pedro Pires and Madagascar President Marc Ravalomanana.


Speaking at the opening ceremony Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao stressed the vital importance of fostering China-Africa ties and finding new avenues to expand cooperation.


2007 marked the first year that Asia welcomed the AfDB annual meetings, only the second time the event was held outside Africa.


Discussion topics flew thick and fast, revolving around AfDB reform, development financing, debt management, aid to vulnerable countries and the over-arching theme of Asian-African cooperation.


People's Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan, who acted as chairman for the meetings, stated that such a forum would lead to a solid blueprint, guiding the AfDB's poverty eradication and development efforts.


The two days of activity also saw a series of business seminars go ahead on the sidelines of the main meetings, which brought together companies and entrepreneurs from both continents to establish contacts and foment potential deals.


The meetings also served as a good follow-up opportunity for furthering the Sino-African partnership, carrying on the momentum of the Beijing Summit of China-Africa Cooperation Forum held in November 2006.


The AfDB will next convene in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, next May. The bank was founded back in 1964 and now regroups 77 members from Africa, America, Europe and Asia, with China adhering in 1985.


(Xinhua News Agency May 18, 2007)


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