SADC banks on own development bank

2012-06-23 10:26

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) wants another development bank that will rival the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), City Press can reveal.

SADC deputy executive secretary João Samuel Caholo told reporters this week that a proposal for an SADC development bank is set for final approval at the SADC heads of state meeting, which is due to be held in August.

He said the SADC needs its own bank because the DBSA does not serve SADC interests.

“There is resentment towards the DBSA in certain quarters because it is in South Africa, and South Africa is the only shareholder,” he said.

“SADC has no say in what the DBSA does and although the bank does work on a bilateral level with SADC countries, we need our own bank.” Caholo, a former Angolan minister, said.

He said the name of the DBSA is misleading, as it was established by the apartheid government that saw Southern Africa as consisting of apartheid South Africa and the former homelands.

When asked if South Africa will be expected to contribute, given its expected contribution to the mooted BRICS bank, Caholo said:
“If South Africa has $2 billion to give to the IMF (International Monetary Fund), it shouldn’t have a problem with the other stuff.”

The bank will form part of the infrastructure master plan that will create integrated roads, communications and transport networks in the SADC region, which has several landlocked countries.

The plan is due to be funded through investment by public and private companies. SADC will kick off a roadshow to promote these opportunities, with Britain as the first stop.

Preliminary meetings have already been held in China and Japan.

The SADC infrastructure plan is set to cost about $500 billion (about R4.2 trillion) and one of the outcomes is to ensure 60% of all tourism to Africa comes to SADC countries, up from 40%.

Caholo also trashed the idea of a single currency in SADC, which has been mooted as part of the Free Trade Area that SADC has established.

“A single currency? Is that even necessary? It is a plus but it is not a must. Look at what is happening in Europe now with the euro, we don’t want to go there,” he said.

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