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The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Akinwumi Adesina, arrived in Ouagadougou for a three-day official visit and was immediately welcomed by Burkina Faso's Head of State, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.
During the meeting President Kaboré praised the excellent bilateral cooperation between his country and the AfDB and called for it to be boosted.
"We are hoping that the support of the African Development Bank will have a great impact. We want to work more closely with you so that together we can enable the greatest number of people in Burkina Faso to have access to electricity. We also want to set up agricultural projects that employ people in rural areas, especially young people,” he said.
Burkina Faso and the AfDB have a strong relationship of cooperation, particularly in the energy sector, where electrification projects are planned for 2017-2021.
During this period the Bank aims to support the North Dorsal electrification project to connect Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso and Benin. It will also provide budget support to the renewable energy sector, with 50 megawatt solar plants funded jointly with the French development agency (AFD).
During his official visit, the AfDB President laid the foundation stone for the project to electrify semi-urban areas in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso, in the presence of Simon Compaoré; Hadizatou Rosine Coulibay, the Minister of the Economy, Finance and Development; Alfa Oumar Dissa, the AfDB's Governor for Burkina Faso and Minister of Energy; as well as local dignitaries.
The AfDB Group will provide support for the electrification of schools and health facilities and the installation of solar pumps in rural areas. It will also take part in the installation of solar street lamps in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso and the Dorsal electrification project that will connect Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali.
"I am very satisfied with the macroeconomic situation in Burkina Faso and the country's growth rate, which is one of the highest in Africa. I can confirm that cooperation between your country and the AfDB, which is already outstanding, will increase in the agriculture and energy sectors, which play a strategic and pivotal role,” assured Adesina.
“We fully support the Government’s efforts in the fight against insecurity,” the Bank President added. “We pledge to assist Burkina Faso with sustainable funding and to enable the creation of an agricultural bank, on-site cotton processing and the creation of real growth hubs. We will also promote job creation for young people,” he concluded.
A government meeting chaired later in the day by the Minister of State for Internal Security, Simon Compaoré, who represented the Prime Minister, led to a detailed and in-depth discussion of Burkina Faso's Country Strategy Paper, which was recently approved by the AfDB's Board of Directors.
According to the Burkinabe Government and the AfDB, this strategy will shake up access to energy and speed up development in the agricultural sector.