The African Development Bank, a major international lender to African governments, opens its annual three-day board meeting in the Ivory Coast capital today with the future economic role of South Africa high on the agenda.
Although not now a part of the ADB, some sources say South Africa could be invited to become a full member within two years. Many African countries have started openly doing business with what they used to call the "racist republic." Kenya recently allowed South African Airways to resume regular flights between Johannesburg and Nairobi.
The ADB last year lent $3.4 billion to African governments. On this year's agenda: a proposal to expand the bank's activities into private lending and such social areas as population control and environmental protection.