African Development Bank Board authorises investigation of road transport project in Guinea
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved the recommendation of the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM) on adherence to Bank policies and procedures in the preparation of Guinea’s section of a Regional Multinational Road Development and Transport Facilitation Programme within the Mano River Union (MRU).Consequently, the Independent Review Mechanism will undertake full compliance review of the programme to highlight specific policy and procedural violations.
The Board approved a loan of US $11.774 million in December 2014 for the program to improve transport conditions and reduce costs to facilitate free movement of people and goods across the three Mano River Union countries (Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea); and improve the living conditions of the population in the area.
The recommendation for compliance review was made by the IRM, following an initial eligibility assessment triggered by a submission to the Bank’s Compliance Review and Mediation Unit (BCRM) on September 15, 2016. The submission, made by Guinean nationals claimed that the project might have a negative impact on the communities and cause environmental damage to Mount Nimba, which is classified as a World Heritage site.
In its response to the submission on January 9, 2017, the Bank’s Management recognized significant shortcomings in the preparation of the project’s Environmental and Social Impact Assessment due to inaccessibility of the project site as a result of the outbreak of the Ebola virus. The Bank’s Management has proposed an action plan to address the issues raised.
The recommendation of the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM) was contained in an Eligibility Report to the African Development Bank’s Board of Directors. The report was prepared by the Bank’s Compliance Review and Mediation Unit and IRM experts following a mission to Guinea in March 2017.
The report concluded that the project could be harmful to the environment as claimed due to non-compliance with the Bank Group’s Environment Policy (2004). It also found that the project was not in line with the Bank’s Involuntary Resettlement Policy (2003).