The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group Resident Representative in Burkina Faso, Antoinette Dinga-Dzondo, on Thursday, January 22, 2009, participated in the commissioning of the Dori-Téra road works on the Niger border.
Organized by Niger’s Infrastructure Minister, Seydou Kabore, the event, which was held under the chairmanship of the country’s Prime Minister, Tertius Zongo, brought together many national and local authorities, including the Mines and Energy Minister, Abdoulaye Abdoulkader Cisse, and other government officials as well as representatives of the World Bank, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), the West African Development Bank and Liptako-Gourma Basin Authority. The Bank Group’s Executive Director for Burkina Faso, Frédéric Korsaga, also attended the event.
Speaking on behalf of the chair of the country’s technical and financial partners involved in Burkina Faso’s transport sector, Mrs. Dinga-Dzondo said that the event marked the official commencement of work on three road projects undertaken by donors. The first project involves periodic maintenance of about 850 km road financed by the World Bank. The second project involves the Markoye-Tambao road construction on the Mali border and the Markoye-Tokabangou on the Niger border financed by the West African Development Bank and the WAEMU Regional Integration Assistance Fund. The third project concerns the tarring of the Dori-Seytenga road in Niger, financed by the AfDB. She added that the event was testimony to the effectiveness of donor partnership and the complementarity of their interventions.
The major objective of the various projects is, on the one hand, to help improve access for people in rural and landlocked areas to markets and basic social services. On the other hand, the projects aim at promoting regional integration through trade among countries in the sub-region, supporting the strengthening of the transport sector’s institutional framework, facilitating transportation and maintaining roads in Burkina Faso.
The AfDB Resident Representative underscored the need to complete the road project on time in keeping with the rules, adding that the infrastructure should be judiciously used to ensure that the investments provide long-term benefits to the population.
She commended government efforts to create and run a road maintenance fund in the country. She urged the government to ensure the fund’s viability and efficiency, and to apply the WAEMU convention on vehicle weights on the roads.