World Bank president Robert Zoellick promised to back Mauritania’s first steps as a democratic country, and signed an accord to help develop its energy, mineral and port sectors. “The World Bank’s primary message is that we’re here to listen and to learn how we can be of greater help,” announced Zoellick, after meeting with president Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi. The national leader hoped to get more support from the agency in boosting the country’s private sector. Zoellick stressed that Mauritania has achieved “emerging economy” status and will soon lose its eligibility to receive low-interest loans from the bank. But he assured Abdallahi that the organization is seeking ways to fund projects through its private-sector unit, the International Finance Corporation. Zoellick, who is on his four-African-country tour, also committed the agency’s support in improving agriculture and education in Mauritania.
Source: World Bank chief pledges support for Mauritania (Reuters)