|September 12, 2002
World Bank Support For Angola - Ibrahim Gambari Leads UN Mission Provisionally
World Bank (WB) Vice Chairman for Africa, Callisto Madavo, Wednesday,
September 11, ensured Angolan President, José Eduardo dos Santos, the
support of his institution to the holding of an international conference for
the country's reconstruction and development. "I assured the President that
he can count on the World Bank support", Callisto Madavo told reporters at
the end of an audience with the Angolan Head of State.
Madavo on his two-day visit to Angola stated that they did not talk about
money, but added that the World Bank will support the process of
demobilization, reinsertion of the displaceds through reconstruction and
government's efforts for the country's development. The WB top officer said
that relations with Angola are excellent and its Director to the country
will be designated soon. "I hope that the relations be strengthened. We are
pleased. There will be new projects and I expect to present them to our
administration by the end of this year", he said.
One day later, the WB spokeswoman in Luanda, Olinda Viera-Diaz emphasised
the need for financial transparency: "The Bank is supportive of the
government's economic recovery plans. However, it must be stressed that the
transparent management of financial resources and combating corruption is
crucial to any kind of reconstruction" she said.
Earlier this month the rights group Global Witness alleged that over the
past five years, at least US $1 billion had gone missing each year from the
government's coffers. The figure represented about one-third of state income.
Viera-Diaz also said the Bank had noted the urgent need to assist former
rebel UNITA soldiers and their families. "Following some very positive signs
that the country is returning to stability, we expect to expand our presence
in the country. We will continue to support the demobilisation and
reintegration programme as well as the social action fund," she said. The
social action fund is a community driven initiative which focuses on the
building of schools, medical centres and community centres.
The Bank said it would also assist the government with drawing up a poverty
reduction strategy. "We will help as much as we can, but the government and
people of Angola must take the responsibility for their full economic
recovery," Viera-Diaz said.
Two days earlier, United Nations Under Secretary General for African
Affairs, Ibrahim Gambari, was appointed to lead temporarily the UN Mission
to Angola. It was announced in New York by UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan,
at the end of a meeting with Angolan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joćo
Bernardo de Miranda.
During the gathering both interlocutors analysed, among others, issues
related to humanitarian situation in Angola. According to Joćo Miranda, the
UN Assistant SG will preside in Luanda meetings of government/Unita Joint
Commission until designation of a UN Representative to Angola, whose
preference is given to a portuguese speaking officer.
The Joint Commission, that is also comprised by Portugal, Russia and the US
as observer countries, is in charge of supervising implementation of Lusaka
Protocol pendent tasks that were not accomplished due to resume of war in
1992. Among such tasks are appointment of Unita officers for posts of
Provincial Governors, Mayors and Ambassadors. (ANGOLA PRESS AGENCY / IRIN)