AfDB Grants Supplementary Loan to Burkina Faso to Finance WAEMU/GHANA Road Programme 1

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Tunis, November 25th, 2008 - The African Development Fund (ADF) Board of Directors has approved a supplementary loan of FCFA 12.350 billion (UA 18 million) for the WAEMU/Ghana Road Programme (RP1) with Burkina Faso as the beneficiary.

The RP I is the first programme implemented in the ECOWAS region under the NEPAD Short-Term Action Plan (STAP) for the transport sector. An ADF loan agreement and an ADF grant protocol agreement (UA 68 million) were signed on  December 18, 2003 with the governments of Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and the WAEMU Commission to finance this project.

The sectorial objective of the Road Programme 1 is to contribute and strengthen the regional economic integration and cooperation between UEMOA and ECOWAS as well as the economic development activities of landlocked countries. The specific plan includes a programme for improved facilities for landlocked countries (Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger) which have no port facilities to the ports of Ghana, improve road sections in the countries in order to reduce transportation costs.

The supplementary loan is expected to contribute towards the achievement of the objectives of the Road Programme 1 in territory of Burkina Faso. It seeks to fill the gap created by the general increase in construction costs. It should be recalled that the Bank conducted a "study on road construction unit costs in Africa" the results of which were submitted to the Board in December 2007.

In spite of the cost overrun, the project is technically and economically viable. The updated cost of the programme is estimated at CFAF 150 billion (UA 219.73 million).

The programme conforms to the Bank’s poverty reduction strategies of the three countries and top NEPAD priorities that aim at generating economies of scale through the integrated large groupings. The development of infrastructure and the creation of corridors without borders and barriers constitute one of the key components to achieve this objective.

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