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Vol 39 No 12

Published 12th June 1998


Of Kabbaj and King

One of African Development Bank President Omar Kabbaj’s greatest supporters is, we hear, King Hassan II. Kabbaj’s successful tenure at the ADB has done much to shore up Moroccan diplomacy in Africa at a critical time for the kingdom’s position in the disputed Western Sahara. A referendum on the territory’s future is scheduled for December (AC Vol 39 Nos 2 & 9) and Rabat has been building up diplomatic support in Africa for its interpretation of the issue. While Kabbaj is an economic technocrat and steers clear of diplomatic dossiers, his revival of the ADB has won him grudging respect across the continent, particularly among the Francophone states which, together with France, secured his election in 1995.

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