The five nations of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) have created a investment bank to finance infrastructure projects in the region, Sid Ahmed Ould Raiss, the governor of the Central Bank of Mauritania, said on Wednesday.
The bank, with capital of $100 million (LD 125 million), will start operations by the end of the first quarter 2013, and will partner with the private sector to finance projects in the member states of Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.
There will be equal participation from each of the five member states.
Christine Lagarde (pictured), head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who attended the meeting in the Mauritanian capital Noukachott, praised the creation of the bank saying it would foster integration and spur investments in the region.
Originally proposed in 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, reports Al Jazeera.
(Sources: All Africa, Al Jazeera)