World Bank, AU hold high-level meeting on boosting intra-Africa trade

The World Bank and the African Union Commission (AUC) has held a meeting on how the continent can boost its intra-African trade.

The meeting which took place in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa January 31, 2012 on the heels of the recently held 18th African Union (AU) Summit themed “Boosting Intra-African trade”, reviewed ways and means of enhancing and maximizing the effectiveness of the World Bank’s support for the AU and Africa in boosting trade.

“Issues discussed at the meeting included: sub-regional and regional integration and trade; capacity building; agriculture and food security; funding; and mechanisms for the Bank’s support to the Commission,” said the World Bank.

The meeting was chaired by the Chairperson of the AUC, H.E. Dr. Jean Ping, who was accompanied by the Deputy Chairperson, H.E. Mr. Erastus Mwencha, while the World Bank delegation was led by the Vice President for Africa, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili.

The World Bank team was made up of it’s Africa Director of Strategy and Operations, Mr. Colin Bruce, the Director for Regional Integration, Mr. Yussupha Crookes, the Trade Practice Leader, Mr. Paul Brenton, the Trade Programme Coordinator, Mr. Dominique Njinkeu, as well as the Special Assistant to the Vice President, Mr. Ikechi Okorie and three Senior Specialists: Mr. Waleed Malik, Mr. Andrew Roberts and Ms. Aileen Marshall.

While the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the AUC were flanked by the Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff in the Bureau of the Chairperson, the Chairperson’s Political and Diplomatic Advisor, the Economic Affairs Advisor, as well as the Director of Strategic Planning, Monitoring and Resource Mobilization, the Director of Information and Communication and the Special Assistant and Coordinating Officer in the Bureau of the Deputy Chairperson.

By Ekow Quandzie

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