By BENEDICT TEMBO
Special Advisor in charge of Diplomacy and Economic Cooperation to the President of the Republic of Madagascar Patrick Rajoelina on Tuesday received the Super Prize Great Builder – Babacar Ndiaye Trophy on behalf of President Andry Rajoelina on the sidelines of the African Development Bank (AfDB) 2023 Annual Meetings, which took place from May 22 to 26.
The presentation of the trophy was made by Mike Salawou, the Director of the Department of Infrastructure and Urban Development.
Mr. Rajoelina led a strong high-level delegation said the award, being a mark of recognition “is a source of pride for himself, but, far beyond that, it is an honor for the Malagasy people. This distinction strengthens him in his courage and his desire to go even further and to redouble his efforts to build a better future for our Malagasy fellow citizens”.
He also said: “It is also an additional motivation for President Andry Rajoelina to carry out his sacred mission in the service of our People: to build an emerging Nation, to catch up with the delay which has been taken for decades for the development of the country and change, by modernising it, the history of Madagascar.”
This prestigious Super Prize Great Builder – Babacar Ndiaye Trophy represents recognition not only from The Africa Road Builders but also from the AfDB.
For his part, and addressing the representative of the winner, the General Commissioner of The Africa Road Builders – Trophée Babacar Ndiaye and chief executive officer of Acturoutes, Barthélemy Kouame said: “I would like, on behalf of The Africa Road Builders – Trophée Babacar Ndiaye, strongly encourage him in the way of construction, for the happiness of the People of Madagascar, for the greatness of Africa as a whole. We, journalists, initiators of The Africa Road Builders – Trophée Babacar Ndiaye, we assure him of our objective and effective support to build the roads and transport of Madagascar”.
Before the presentation of the Babacar Ndiaye Trophy, George Orido, a journalist from Kenya and spokesperson of the Selection Committee, solemnly read again the statement which selected Mr Rajoelina, the laureate for 2023.
“Mr Andry Rajoelina, the President of the Republic of Madagascar, is designated laureate of the Super Prize Grand Builder – Babacar Ndiaye Trophy 2023 for his personal leadership and for his commitment and investment to provide Madagascar with mobility infrastructure in perfect harmony with sustainable development goals,” Mr Orido said
The Selection Committee particularly noted the delivery of the Larivo Ring road, the peripheral highway of the city of Antananarivo, a symbol of sustainable mobility infrastructure, in particular, the integration of pedestrian and cycle paths alongside the motorised paths.
With its secure bus stops and rubbish drop-off points for better collection, this road is resolutely at the service of the population, believes the Selection Committee.
The Selection Committee also noted the expansion of Ivato airport, which takes into account people with reduced mobility by improving the car parks, as well as now clearly visible pedestrian signs.
The Selection Committee noted the strengthening of transport connectivity in rural areas. This undoubtedly increases agricultural productivity and improves the economy and people’s lives.
Meanwhile, the Selection Committee has welcomed the approval AfDB Madagascar’s “Country Strategy Paper for the period 2022-2026”.
This approval will notably enable Madagascar to benefit from increased interventions in terms of transport infrastructure with a view to supporting inclusive growth.
The awarding of The Super Prize Great Builder – Babacar Ndiaye Trophy was preceded by giving out the Africa Road Builders Special Prizes.
This year, the winners of the Special Prizes were: Afreximbank (Egypt), Association of African Road Maintenance Funds (ARMFA, Cameroon), Road Maintenance Fund of Côte d’Ivoire (Côte d’Ivoire), Autonomous Road Maintenance Fund (FERA, Senegal) and Mwasalat Misr (Egypt).
The Special Prizes are given to institutions and companies that display outstanding results related to the theme of the event. The 2023 theme is: “Sustainable mobility in Africa, a lever for development”.
The Africa Road Builders – Trophée Babacar Ndiaye is a series of two annual Conferences whose Final Conference is held at the Annual Meetings of the AfDB.
The event established in 2016, bears the name of Dr Babacar Ndiaye, who was president of the AfDB from 1985 to 1995.
Late Dr Ndiaye attended the first two editions prior to his demise. The Africa Road Builders – Babacar Ndiaye Trophy is sponsored by Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB.
The Babacar Ndiaye family was represented at the event by Alassane Ndiaye, son of Dr Ndiaye.