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Big boost for Senegal as World Bank sign deals to finance four key projects worth $495m

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The economic fortunes of impoverished West African country, Senegal, is set to take a monumental leap after the World Bank on Tuesday, signed deals to finance four key projects worth a total of $495 million.

The deals, according to the global banking institution, will help improve education, electricity, economic development and road access to rural areas in the country which is undergoing serious economic downturn.

The World Bank considers the West African nation with a population of16.7 million as a lower-middle-income country, with its economy hit hard by border closures during the pandemic that affected tourism and delayed oil and gas extractions, while job opportunities and industries are only concentrated in the capital, Dakar, and a few other cities.

World Bank Director for Senegal, Nathan Belete, who announced the deals, described them as record breaking.

“One of the projects to improve the quality of the education system will be awarded $100 million and will benefit over 600,000 students.

“Another $45 million will fund a project to help develop the economy of the impoverished southern Casamance region, focusing on rural areas and including the construction of infrastructure resistant to the impact of climate change.

“Another $150 million will be disbursed to improve electricity access across the country, connecting 200,000 households to the grid and improving power services in schools, health facilities, and small and medium enterprises.

“The fourth project, worth $200 million, will focus on developing better road links to rural food producing areas in the northern and central regions,” Belete said.

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African leaders want more efforts to promote regional industrilisation

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Leaders across the continent of Africa at a recent meeting in Niger’s capital Niamey have called for a doubling of efforts to promote industrialization in the region.

The call came during an Extraordinary Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification in the Central African country.

Some of the leaders present were, Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, and Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The leaders noted sectors critical to industrialisation like agriculture, agro-industry, health, education, infrastructure, and especially energy, and urged increased private sector participation in the space.

The summit later held a discussion on trade with a focus on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Africa is the world’s least industrialized, the continent commemorates Africa Industrialization Day every November.

The African Development Bank Group, in its November 2022 index posits that industrialisation is central to Africa’s development prospects. With its young labour force, abundant natural resources, and fast-growing internal markets. Africa has the potential to become the next global frontier for industrial development.

 

 

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Ivory Coast aims regional shipping hub, completes $953 million container terminal

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West African country, Ivory Coast is making waves at becoming a regional shipping hub as it has completed construction of a second container terminal at its main port in Abidjan.

The project, financed by China’s Eximbank by 85% and 15% by the Ivorian state costs about 596 billion CFA francs ($953 million).

The new container terminal, called Cote d’Ivoire Terminal (CIT), started operations on Nov. 1 but was officially unveiled at a press conference on Friday. It is able to receive large ships from Asia, Europe, and America that previously had to land goods in South Africa, transferring them to smaller ships to reach West Africa.

The technical director of the terminal Andre N’Doli, remarked “we are no longer a second port. We are becoming a hub,”

“In addition to national traffic, we will handle traffic from other ports that cannot accommodate large vessels,” he told reporters.

According to official data, there has been growth in recent years in the country’s maritime sector. Ivory Coast shipped goods worth USD 12,717 million in 2019, an -8.5% dip as compared to the previous year.

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