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Welcome to the website of the World Bank Country Office in the Central African Republic
Midou Ibrahima, World Bank Country Manager in the Central African Republic

The Country Office was opened in Bangui in 1963 and currently has a staff complement of 15 coming from a variety of backgrounds. Through team effort, and chiefly as a result of fruitful dialogue with the government, the Bangui Country Office has shown exemplary initiative in scaling up Bank projects in the country.

The World Bank’s current portfolio, which is based on the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) 2009–2012, has grown significantly and at a rapid pace, with total World Bank commitments in the Central African Republic increasing from US$17 million in 2006 to the current level of US$450 million. Better yet, the annual disbursement rate of roughly 34% is higher than the target for the Africa Region, which is no less than 25%.

Moreover, the end of the previous CPS period has prompted us to begin preparing the new 2013-2016 Country Partnership Strategy, which is based on the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers-II (PRSP-II) and the New Deal. This process will, in the weeks ahead, involve consultations with the authorities, the private sector, civil society, and the other development partners. The World Bank must ensure that the transformation of the Central African Republic, and thus its development, entails country ownership of all projects and programs implemented with support from the international community.

With this in mind, we organized a review of the World Bank’s portfolio and program in conjunction with the government, held July 16–18, 2012. This review provided an opportunity for all stakeholders to engage in discussions with a view to enhancing performance and the impact on beneficiaries, thereby contributing to the government’s economic and social objectives on the ground. I would like to take this opportunity to commend the other development partners for their contributions to this effort, which is fully consistent with efforts to strengthen coordination of our interventions, in keeping with the Paris Declaration and the Accra Conference on Aid Effectiveness.

Achieving project results and their impact on the beneficiary population remains the overriding concern expressed time and time again by the Government and the World Bank during the various discussions held at all levels. This concern explains the portfolio’s perfect alignment with the sectoral and national development strategies, as well as the support provided by the Country Partnership Strategy to the PRSP.

Another important point that I must stress is that the World Bank intends to strengthen the impact of all public resources on the well-being of the people of the Central African Republic by enhancing and putting in place effective public finance management systems, with a view to supporting the government’s efforts to increase the availability of key social services, diversify its economy, and better understand and address the needs of the poor rural populations. With respect to this specific point, the World Bank will continue its current rural development activities in order to ensure consistency with the priorities set forth in the PRSP-II.

The year 2012 is shaping up to be a promising one in terms of relations between the World Bank and the Central African Republic. However, it is important to note that a number of challenges remain. Employment, particularly among young people, is one of the most significant challenges facing Africa and the world. An appropriate response to this challenge cannot be formulated without a vibrant and competitive private sector. The second challenge is to further increase the number of interventions, which is contingent on sound and efficient management, the benchmark of good governance.

Midou Ibrahima, World Bank Country Manager in the Central African Republic

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