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AfDB approves a total of USD 406.29 Million in loans and grants to 4 African countries

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Tunis, December 18, 2007 - The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) on Monday in Tunis approved a total loan and grant package of USD 406.29 million for development projects and programs in four of the Bank’s member countries. The resources will be used for a range of initiatives that include energy, increasing agricultural productivity, strengthening institutional capacity and road-building.

The Board of the African Development Bank approved a non-concessionary loan of USD 223.48 million to Morocco to finance the Ain-Beni-Mathar power station project. In March 2005, the AfDB approved a first loan of USD 180.89 million for the project. However, in view of delays in the implementation of the program to extend electric power generation facilities, as well as the growing demand for electricity in the country, the National Electricity Authority decided to change the scope and to increase capacity to 470 MW, of which 20 MW will be of solar origin.

The Board of the African Development Fund (ADF) approved resources for projects in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda. The soft loan arm of the Bank is providing a loan of USD 63.61 million for the Northern Rural Growth Programme in Ghana to improve food security among rural households. By so doing, the programme will increase northern Ghana area rural households’ income on a sustainable basis and contribute to equitable and sustainable poverty reduction. To attain those objectives, the programme will be implemented in 32 districts located in northern Ghana over a six-year period under three main components: commodity chain development; rural infrastructure development and access to financial services.

In Kenya, the ADF loan of US$ 27 million will finance a community empowerment and institutional support project. The Community Empowerment and Institutional Support Project derives from a study funded by the ADF showing that, despite the critical role given by the Kenyan government to local communities to alleviate poverty and inequalities, their effectiveness was compromised by poor policy management, and weak institutional capacity. To address these challenges, the project will introduce a community driven development approach that seeks to mobilize the capacities of communities and service providers to effectively plan, manage and monitor the results of implemented initiatives. The project will also stimulate stakeholders by addressing capacities at the individual level (through skills enhancement and participation in the various processes), organizational or institutional level (through creation of incentives) and societal level (through provision of information to educate the population on their rights, and therefore enhance their ability to demand greater accountability from government, donors, CSOs, etc.).

The loan and the grant to Uganda, amounting to USD 92.2 million, will help connect by roads Fort Portal and Lamia cities in Uganda. The improvement of the road will contribute to poverty reduction by unlocking the agricultural and mineral resources potential of the two districts of Kabarole and Bundibugyo. It will facilitate access to social and marketing centers, promote integration of rural people to the rest of the country and develop bankable projects. The project will also support regional integration and cross border trade with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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