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Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire – The Republic of Benin will receive a combined loan and grant amounting to US$ 58.50 million to help finance the Parakou Urban Transport Project, approved by executive directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) on 19 September 2014 in Abidjan.
The project involves the rehabilitation and widening of 17.55 kilometers of main roads in the city to double lanes in order to increase urban mobility, reduce accidents as well as improve the peoples’ living conditions.
It will help to reduce poverty by improving access to basic social services and strengthening the activities of women and other disadvantaged groups through the creation of socio-economic activities in the city of Parakou.
Parakou, Benin’s third largest city and a major agricultural (cotton) production zone, is located at the crossroads of major international roads connecting Niger, Burkina Faso, Togo and Nigeria. The city is the terminus of the Cotonou-Niger railway. It links up to the port of Cotonou, one of the main ports in West Africa and provides access to all of Benin’s neighbouring countries. As a result, the city is characterized by high movement of people and an influx of nationals of neighbouring countries, attracted by the regional and international scale of the local markets.
The project is aligned with critical Bank transport, integration and related development strategies including the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy III for 2011-2015 which focuses on the establishment of transport, logistics and trade services as well as the improvement of transport infrastructure. It also fits with the country’s decentralization policy strategy; its National Land-Use Planning and Implementation Framework adopted in 2013; as well as the Municipal Development Plan of the city of Parakou for 2014-2016.
The total cost of project to be implemented from 2015-2020 is estimated at US$118.82 million (CFAF 57.37 billion). It will be financed with an African Development Fund (ADF) loan of US$56.64 million; a Global Environment Facility Grant of US$ 1.86 million as well as contributions from the West African Development Bank (BOAD) and the Government of Benin.