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Benin Joins EBRD as the First Sub-Saharan African Member

Benin Joins EBRD as the First Sub-Saharan African Member

The West African country of Benin has made history by becoming the first country in Sub-Sahara Africa to join the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). This is coming nearly a year after Benin submitted its application to join the group. With its approval, the bank owned by over 70 countries has confirmed Benin as its 75th shareholder.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), recently confirmed on its official website that West Africa’s Benin became the first Sub-Saharan African country to become its member.

The Board of Governors approved Benin’s membership in October 2023, after the country had applied to join the Bank in July 2023. As a result, Benin is now the bank’s 75th shareholder.

The EBRD which is owned by 73 countries, as well as the European Union and the European Investment Ban was founded in 1991 with the goal of “encouraging private and entrepreneurial initiative and the transition towards open market-oriented economies.

The EBRD uses a mix of investment, consultancy services, and policy reform to assist nations going through transition. Its main goals are to advance the private sector and implement long-lasting reform. Today, it operates in 3 continents including Africa.

The Board of Governors accepted a revision to the Agreement Establishing the Bank during the EBRD’s 2023 Annual Meeting in Samarkand. This change will allow the Bank to expand its activities to sub-Saharan Africa and Iraq, but only in stages.

Following the amendment’s official adoption by the majority of EBRD shareholders, the Bank will be allowed to proceed with Benin’s application to become an operating nation. Benin would profit from the EBRD’s financial and policy support as a beneficiary nation.

“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,” Odile Renaud-Basso, the bank’s president said.

In response to the approval Benin’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Romuald Wadagni, stated; “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 revitalization of our private sector. All this should impact the living conditions of our population.”

Business Insider


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