AfDB-financed Mali-Senegal road project is awarded US Treasury development impact honors award

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The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Donald Kaberuka, has received the United States Treasury Inaugural Development Impact Honors Award bestowed on the Mali-Senegal Road project, one of the Bank Group’s Regional multinational projects.

“I am truly honored and humbled to receive on behalf of the African Development Bank the Treasury’s Inaugural Development Impact Honors,” President Kaberuka said at the award ceremony in Washington D.C., chaired by treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner and attended by members of the U.S. Congress and other prominent personalities.

“We do appreciate recognition from our friends for the modest progress we are making, however we still have a long way to go and we must keep the hard work,” Mr. Kaberuka said.

The U.S. Treasury launched the Development Impact honors award competition for multilateral development Banks last year in the following categories: Education, Environment/climate, Food security, Health, Infrastructure, Private Sector, Women and girls.  

The Road Improvement and Transport Facilitation on the Bamako-Dakar Corridor Project, which won the award was approved by the Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional arm of the AfDB Group, on 21 December 2005 with a loan of USD 83 million (UA 58.16 million) and a grant of USD 11.251 million (UA 7.9 million).

The project was designed to help strengthen economic integration and sub-regional cooperation in West Africa; to open up the hinterland countries of the sub-region and to establish a permanent highway link through the south between Mali and Senegal; and to remove constraints on movement so as to reduce overall transport costs and foster economic exchanges between the two countries.

The project included improvements on 162 kilometers between Kati and Kita and 259 kilometers between Kita and Faleme in Mali; 2 bridges of a total length of 328 meters in Mali; a 250-meter long bridge on the Faleme at the border between the two countries; road improvements on 51 kilometers between Faleme and Saraya in Senegal; 61 kilometers between Saraya and Kedougou; and 235 kilometers between Tambacounda and Birkilane. Some 100 kilometers of rural roads connected to the major highway will be built in the two countries.  It also involves the construction and equipment of a juxtaposed control post at the border of both countries.  Other works include a 100 km upgrade of rural roads, 18 boreholes, fencing schools in Kita, rebuilding of 10 health centers, two parks for resting, building of a park for cattle quarantine trails, construction of dams for watering livestock, development of football pitches, construction of schools toilets, buying of benches and tables, among others.

“As rightly pointed out in your invitation letter, we are indeed proud of this project which is part of the Trans-sahélienne highway that links Dakar (Senegal) to Port Soudan (Soudan) through Bamako (Mali), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Niamey (Niger), Kano (Nigeria) and N’Djamena (Chad). The project adds to the highway a section called “route communautaire” by UEMOA Members. This missing link of this African Highway and is also part of the short term Action Plan of NEPAD,” President Kaberuka said.

He explained to the audience that closing the infrastructure deficit is vital for economic prosperity and sustainable development in Africa. This is more so, considering Africa’s challenging economic geography that requires huge infrastructure for the continent to realize its growth potential and equitably share the benefits of an increasingly connected global economy.

The President cited the mandate given to the bank to operationalize, in partnership with the African Union, the Infrastructure part of New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) program and other continental collaborative efforts and programmes in which the Bank is involved to help provided needed infrastructure across the continent.

He called for greater partnership and assured that U.S support and efforts were fully aligned with Africa’s priorities and making difference.

“As I accept this award on behalf of the African Development Bank, I would like to remind all our partners that what we are doing today is planting a seed for the future. You can rest assured that this award is a sign that we are on the right path and that with concerted effort, we will do better,” President Kaberuka emphasized amidst a huge applause from the audience.

The AfDB was established in 1964 to promote sustainable economic and social development of its regional member countries. Since it began operations in 1967, the Bank has financed 3,660 operations with loan and grants amounting to USD 92 billion.  Since the implementation of its 2008-2012 medium-term strategy, infrastructure has received USD 13 billion, nearly half of its financing during the period while multinational projects designed to forester regional integration accounts for 4.5 billion.

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