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Benin becomes first sub-Saharan to join EBRD

by Business News Report

Benin has become the first sub-Saharan African country to join the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The country is the Bank’s 75th shareholder. Benin submitted a request to join the Bank in July 2023 and the Board of Governors approved its membership in October 2023. At the EBRD’s 2023 Annual Meeting in Samarkand, the Board of Governors approved an amendment to the Agreement Establishing the Bank to enable the limited and incremental expansion of its operation to sub-Sahara Africa and Iraq. Once the amendment is in force, which requires formal acceptance by the majority of the EBRD’s shareholders, the Bank will be able to take forward Benin’s request to become a country of operation. As a recipient country, Benin would benefit from the EBRD’s finance and policy support. 

EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso said: “I am very happy to welcome Benin, the first sub-Saharan African country to join the Bank. We are looking forward to partnering with the country and, when the time comes, leveraging our expertise to support private-sector development and sustainable growth there.” Romuald Wadagni, Minister of Economy and Finance of Benin, said: “We are delighted to join the EBRD with the prospect of becoming a country of operation of the Bank. Benin intends to attract more resources necessary for the structural transformation of our economy, the improvement of the business climate and the revitalisation of our private sector. All this should impact the living conditions of our population.” The EBRD now has 73 national shareholders in addition to the European Union and the European Investment Bank. 

The EBRD supports countries in transition, using a combination of investment, advisory work and policy reform. It focuses on developing the private sector and bringing sustainable change, leaving an enduring legacy for a better future. The Bank is currently focusing its efforts on supporting Ukraine, while helping all of its economies to become greener, more inclusive and more digital.

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