AfDB makes US$ 22 million loan to develop Lake Tanganyika in Zambia

19/12/2014
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On December 18, 2014, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group approved a US $22.49-million loan to Zambia for the development of Lake Tanganyika.

This project has been formulated as part of the long-term vision for Zambia ("Vision 2030") by which it intends to become "a prosperous middle-income country by 2030". Its aim, thus, is help implement the amended Sixth National Development Plan, which covers 2013-2016 and aims to facilitate and accelerate "economic growth and development in the service of the people". Accordingly, it aims to stimulate job creation and rural development, in this way boosting inclusive growth.

The project will be implemented over a five-year period in two districts, Mpulungu and Nsama, which surround the drainage basin of the lake and which have 157,830 inhabitants. The incidence of poverty is much higher in these districts than in other districts of Zambia.

More specifically, the project will promote sustainable and equitable management and use of the lake's natural resources, and it will help improve the livelihoods of local communities (in the drainage basin of the lake), by encouraging the development of economic infrastructure and human resources, and by strengthening market linkages and the development of value chains for the products of natural resources.

The project should improve the fish supply (catches) by 20 to 25%. In addition, it will help members of the local population adopt sustainable practices and technologies for the management of land, forests and water, with the goal of limiting land degradation and deforestation, and boosting agricultural production. Furthermore, the project should have a positive, virtuous impact on the conservation and preservation of the area's wildlife and heritage and on specific resources – particularly the national park – which can play a role in local economic development.

Unleashing the full potential of the lake's resources will increase the incomes of rural households. Project implementation will be participative, so that local people take ownership of it and ensure its sustainability.

The total estimated cost of the project is US $29.62 million. In addition to AfDB, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is making a contribution with a US $7 million donation and the Zambian government is committing US $190,000.