Tunis - AfDB Group Approves Projects to Enhance Regional Integration and Trade Competitiveness

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Tunis, 21 July 2006 – The Boards of Directors of the African Development Bank (ADB) and Fund (ADF) today approved a number of projects that are expected to contribute significantly to enhancing regional integration and trade competitiveness in the region.

Meeting in regular weekly session in Tunis, the Boards approved loans and grants totaling nearly US$ 400 million to finance infrastructure and other projects in different parts of the continent and support the development activities of some regional economic communities.

"I am very proud of what we have done today," President Donald Kaberuka told the Board.  "These approvals will contribute to improving the competitive position of some of our member countries and enhance regional integration on the continent.  I am glad we are doing so in partnership with other development partners."

A US$ 149 million loan to Morocco will co-finance a US$ 864 million highway infrastructure project that is expected to result in increased economic activity in the country; another loan of US$ 102 million will provide drinking water to a rural population of over 350,000 people and sanitation services to more than 300,000 rural people.

A US$ 100 million loan to the Development Bank of Southern Africa will support competitive infrastructure development, expansion and rehabilitation in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) area.  Swaziland, a member of SADC, will receive US$ 8,4 million in project funding to promote flower exports and support private sector initiatives in the country. 

The ADF Board approved a grant of US$ 8.4 million to finance procurement reforms and a capacity building project in the states of the Common Market of East and Southern Africa (COMESA). The project will modernize and harmonize national procurement systems and, in the process, enhance intra-regional trade in COMESA and between the trade area and the rest of the world.

The Board also approved funding for a rural development project in Burkina Faso and a grant to rehabilitate the economic planning capacity of the government of the Central African Republic.  A loan of US$ 18.5 million will enhance food security in Burkina Faso by increasing agricultural production through the development or rehabilitation of irrigation systems and feeder roads and the dissemination of production techniques in the country.  A US$ 4.9 million grant to the CAR will finance the rehabilitation of the economic planning capacity, with a view to building the capacity of government services in macro-economic and sectoral planning and rehabilitating the country’s development planning.


Felix Njoku Phone: +216 71 10 26 12