AfDB, Gabon Strengthen Cooperation on Regional Road Infrastructure
- President Kaberuka Signs €256.27 Million Loan for Gabon
Tunis, le 26 October 2007 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group and the Government of Gabon on Thursday in Tunis signed an agreement for a loan of 256.27 million euros (175 billion FCFA) to finance one of the biggest projects that the Bank has ever supported in any of its regional member countries in the past years.
The signing of the agreement for the road programme will enable Gabon to consolidate its efforts to open up landlocked areas, in particular, the southern parts of the country and increase the network of tarred roads from 11% in 2006 to 30% by 2012. The new road programme is designed to meet international standards, open up the country to its neighbours as well as strengthen cooperation and regional integration. By making it possible for Gabon to link up with the other countries in central Africa, the programme will, in the long-run, remove obstacles to the movement of goods and persons in the region, reduce transport costs and by so doing, stimulate trade at the sub-regional and regional levels.
Given its nature and objectives, the programme is a beautiful example of the new type of cooperation that the AfDB is striving to promote. It falls within the framework of dialogue on infrastructure, one of the priority areas of the AfDB as well as nurturing economic growth and poverty reduction.
The first phase of the road involves the construction of the Fougamou-Mouila axes (112 Km), the Leyou-Lastourville road (96 km) and the Ndende-Lebamba road (37 km). It also provides for the improvement of the urban road networks on the Mouila – Ndendé - Doussala border with Congo (123 km) and on the Ndendé - Tchibanga axis (93 km), as well as Libreville, especially the reinforcement of 31 km expressway in the capital.
The AfDB will finance 90% of the programme. The Gabonese government will provide the remaining 10%.
The loan agreement was signed by the President of the AfDB Group, Mr. Donald Kaberuka, and Mr. Paul Toungui, Senior Minister of the Republic of Gabon in charge of the Economy, Finance, Budget and Privatization.
During the signing ceremony, President Kaberuka reiterated the strong relations between Gabon and the Bank Group. He also underlined his personal commitment and that of the pan-African institution in efforts to strengthen and widen the solid cooperation ties between the Bank and Gabon. For his part, Minister Toungui reiterated his country’s gratitude to the AfDB, and emphasized its commitment to strengthen cooperation with the Bank in the road sector as well as other vital areas of the Gabonese economy.
The Bank Group’s operations in Gabon started in 1974. The approved program brings its operations in the country to 36, including 29 projects, three structural adjustment programs, one emergency assistance and three studies. The Bank Group’s total commitment in the country currently stands at 752 .92 million UA, equivalent to € 842 million.