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Australia to pursue membership of the African Development Bank to help overcome poverty



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DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND TREASURER The Hon. Wayne Swan MP

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS Senator the Hon. Bob Carr July 17, 2012

AUSTRALIA TO PURSUE MEMBERSHIP OF THE AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK TO HELP OVERCOME POVERTY

Australia will pursue membership of the African Development Bank and African

Development Fund to support Australia’s efforts to overcome poverty and achieve

the Millennium Development Goals in Africa.

The African Development Bank promotes sustainable economic growth to reduce

poverty in the African region. The Bank has 77 member countries, comprising 53

African and 24 non-African countries.

Australia is the only developed G20 country not currently a member of the Bank.

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan said the Bank is already a valued

partner in Australia’s increasing aid program in Africa and formal membership would

demonstrate Australia’s intent to remain a long-term partner in Africa’s development.

“It is in Australia’s national interest to support an organisation whose mandate is to

spur sustainable economic growth and poverty alleviation in Africa, which would in

turn help lay the platform for a greater Africa-Australia trade and investment

relationship,” Mr Swan said.

Combating poverty is at the heart of the Bank’s efforts to help Africa achieve

sustainable economic growth. Through the Bank’s programs between 2008 and

2010, more than 8.5 million people received improved access to water and sanitation

and 16.4 million people greater access to health services. The Bank also helped build

7,400 new classrooms, trained 110,000 teachers and supplied nearly four million

textbooks leading to the enrolment of an additional 267,000 children in primary

school during the same period.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr said the African Development Bank and Fund is an

effective and efficient institution.

“The Bank received a favourable review from AusAID’s recent Australian Multilateral

Assessment, which concluded that funding to the Bank would deliver tangible

development benefits in line with Australia’s aid objectives and represent good value

for money,” Mr Carr said.

AusAID is now seeking public views, through written submissions, to Australia

becoming a member of the African Development Bank and Fund. Further details can

be found on AusAID's website: www.ausaid.gov.au/afdb-membership

Submissions will form part of a National Interest Analysis which will be considered by

the Federal Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties. The closing date for

submissions is 14 August 2012.

Media contact: AusAID Media, 0417 680 590