NOUAKCHOTT Jan 9 The five nations of the Arab
Maghreb Union have created a investment bank with capital of
$100 million to finance infrastructure projects in the region,
Mauritania's central bank governor said on Wednesday.
The investment bank will launch operations by the end of the
first quarter 2013, and will partner with the private sector to
finance projects in the five nations: Algeria, Libya,
Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.
"Today it was decided to make this creation effective and to
provide Maghreb investment bank with a capital of $100 million,
with an equal participations from each of the five member
states," Sid'Ahmed Ould Raiss told journalists after the meeting
of the union in the Mauritanian capital.
"The bank is intended to finance development projects, such
as highways, promoting new technologies and also investing in
energy," Raiss said.
The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine
Lagarde, who attended the meeting of the union, lauded the
creation of the bank saying it would foster integration and spur
investments in the region.
Mooted since 1991, the launch of the bank has been delayed
by political tensions within the union and by a long-running
dispute between Algeria and Morocco over Western Sahara.
The union aims to create an economic and future political
union among the five north African nations, but no summit has
been organised since 1994 due to the tensions that have hampered
decision-making and the operation of the union.
(Reporting by Laurent Prieur.; Writing by Bate Felix; editing
by Christopher Wilson)