The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (Waemu) are working on a protocol agreement aiming at formally boosting cooperation between the two institutions. This agreement could be finalised by June 2005.

This is the conclusion reached at a recent working session held between the two institutions within the framework of a visit to the Temporary Relocation Agency by a Waemu delegation headed by the chairman of the Waemu Commission, Soumala Cisse.

The working session chaired by Bisi Ogunjobi, AfDB group vice-president in charge of west and central operations, made a review of ongoing operations and held a talk on cooperation perspectives. In this regard, the bank indicated that an assistance to regional integration strategy was under preparation in those countries covered by the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) and would be operational by mid May 2005.
The delegation was briefed on the status of a number of financing requests made to the bank by the Waemu. Thus, phase I of the Study on Reforms of Public Markets in Waemu countries is entirely completed and the results will be considered for validation in March 2005. The bank also confirmed that a project on capacity building for the supervision of aerial security in Africa (Coscap) is under preparation.

With regard to assistance to Guinea-Bissau, the economy of which has been seriously staunched by socio-political unrests, the AfDB informed the Waemu delegation of the ongoing preparation of a project, aiming at backing the country in rebuilding its institutional capacities.

Waemu requested the bank’s collaboration for implementing a community programme concerning water supply in 1,000 villages amounting to CFA707bn. The bank says it has launched a rural water and sanitation initiative benefiting its member countries. Pilot projects have been already funded by the bank in Benin and Mali. Both parties agreed on strengthening the complementarities of their programmes in this specific area.

Furthermore, the bank has agreed in principle to finance a study on the impact of trade agreements that the Waemu commission intends to conclude with Northern African countries. The bank also confirmed its agreement in principle to finance feasibility study on a fisheries three-year programme. The AfDB also told the delegation that the possibility of financing a study on the establishment of a regional stock market on consumer products, under bilateral resources, was being considered. Finally, the bank confirmed its availability to provide a technical assistance through its services, with the view to improving statistics on consumption.