Water Development-AfDB Signs Grant Agreement with Guinea Bissau

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Guinea Bissau, May 16th, 2009 - The Bank Group’s Vice President for Infrastructure was in Guinea Bissau on Saturday, May 16th, 2009, for the signing ceremony of the Grant Agreement with the Executive Secretariat of the Gambia River Basin Organization (OMVG). The Grant will finance the integrated water resources management development project for the Kayanga-Geba basin in Senegal, Guinea and Guinea Bissau. The main objective of the project is to assist the Gambia River Basin Organization to develop a cooperative framework in the Kayanga-Geba Basin and reinforce its institutional capacities to implement sustainable management of the shared water resources based on integrated water resources management approach.

The Grant of one million five hundred and eighty five thousand Euros (1,585,000 Euros) comes from the African Water Facility Special Fund, and will finance (i) the strengthening of the capacity in the management of the hydrological observation network, (ii) the development of the integrated water resources management plan for the basin, (iii) the improvement of the capacities of the staff through training, (iv) the assessment of water flow regulation, and (v) support the development of irrigation areas in the Guinea Bissau part of the Basin. The Grant was approved on the 9th of January, 2009.

In his address to the Guinea Bissau delegation during the signing ceremony, the VP for Infrastructure, Mr Mandla Gantsho, noted that the project would contribute to poverty reduction in the region by strengthening cooperation in the development of economic activities based on better water usage, and reduce the negative impacts of low water flows in Guinea Bissau though better management of the shared water resources and enhanced cooperation. He underscored the centrality of the project in enhancing regional integration, trans-boundary water basin governance, and promotion of cooperation as a long-term undertaking and an important catalyst in promoting sustainable economic growth.

In addition to signing the Grant Agreement for the integrated water resources management project with OMVG, the mission paid courtesy calls to the interim President of Guinea Bissau, His Excellency Raimundo Pereira, and the Prime Minister of Guinea Bissau, Carlos Gomes Junior; and held discussions with the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Minister of Economic Planning and Regional Integration, the Secretary of State for Economic Planning, the Secretary of State for Treasury, and the Secretary of State for Transport and Communication.

Picture in order of appearance: 1) Honorable Mme Helena, Nozolini Mbalo, Minister of Economy Planning and Regional Integration 2) Mr Mandla Gantsho, Vice President, OIVP; 3) Mr Justino Viera, Executive Secretary OMVG 4) Honorable Minister Antonio Osacar Barbosa, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources & Chairman of OMVG Council of Ministers.