Congo: AfDB Group Supports Socio-economic Reintegration of Disadvantaged Groups

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Congo: AfDB Group Supports Socio-economic Reintegration of Disadvantaged Groups

Ouagadougou, 17 May 2006 – The African Development Bank Group and the Government of Congo today in Ouagadagou signed a grant agreement of 14.8 million Units of Account, (equivalent to US$ 21.7 million) to finance the socio-economic reintegration of disadvantage groups in Congo.

The agreement was signed by Mr. Lotfi Chakroun, ADB OCCC Director, and Mr. Pacifique Issoibeka, Minister of the Economy, Finance and Budget of Congo.

The grant will permit improved access by the population to basic health services, notably in the areas most damaged by the 1999 war. It is also aimed at improving hygienic conditions in some of Brazzaville’s poor neighbourhoods. The financing will also be used to strengthen and diversify vocational training through the schools and business partnership formula. Lastly, in order to support economic integration, the project will finance the implementation of labour-intensive works and support the promotion of self-employment.

Successful implementation of the project will enable 50 000 people have increased access to quality basic social services in thirteen health facilities. It will also support the cleaning and paving of gutters and household refuse collection in Brazzaville’s poor neighbourhoods.

It will also facilitate the opening of three Songhai agricultural and rehabilitation centers in Congo, equipping and upgrading of the level of teachers in three vocational training centres, which will permit the provision of quality training to at least 900 persons per year, 30% of whom will be girls.

The project is expected to create over 3,500 jobs for household heads in the construction sector. The grant will also build the capacities of existing small and medium-sized enterprises, by fostering the creation of new ones by supporting training, supervision, and facilitating access to credit.

Congo has emerged from a decade of major political conflicts from 1990 to 2000, leading to three civil wars which claimed tens of thousands of lives. These wars have caused massive destruction of means of production, especially in Brazzaville and Pool province. Despite the return to economic growth since 2001, the poverty level has remained the same or even worsened, at least for the most disadvantaged social segments.

The African Development Bank Group operations which started in Congo in 1972, now stand at CFA 203.3 billion for 26 operations.

Project Brief

-  Sources of financing: ADF & Government

-  Estimated start-up date and duration: October 2006, for 5 years

-  Procurement of Goods and Services:

Works: National competitive bidding for socio-economic infrastructure rehabilitation and construction works

Goods: International competitive bidding for specialized equipment for vocational training and health centres; National competitive bidding for non-specialized furniture and equipment for vocational training and health centres, and office automation equipment supplied as part of institutional strengthening of implementation partners and certain beneficiaries;

Services: shortlist of consultants

* UA 1 = USD 1.47106 = CFA 769.687 as at 17/05/2006