US$94 Million for Mali-Senegal Road Link

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US$94 Million for Mali-Senegal Road Link

Tunis, 19 December, 2005 – The African Development Bank Group on Wednesday in Tunis signed a loan and a grant protocol agreement amounting to 66.1 million Units of Account (UA*) about US$94.47 million, with representatives of the governments of Mali, Senegal and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) for road improvement and transport facilitation on the Bamako-Dakar corridor.

The agreements were signed by the Officer in Charge of the Vice Presidency for West and Central Operations, Mr. Mohammed J. Gharbi for the Bank; the Malian Minister of Equipment and Transport, Mr. Abdoulaye Koita, the Senegalese Ambassador in Tunis, Mr. Abdourahmane Sow, and the Chair of the WAEMU Commission, Mr. Soumaila Cisse, signed for the borrowers.

The loan of 58.16 million UA (about US$83 million) and greant of 7.9 million UA (about US$11.28 million) was approved by the Board of the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessionary lending arm of the AfDB  on 19 December 2005.

The objective of the project is to help strengthen economic integration and sub-regional cooperation in West Africa and open up the hinterland countries of the sub-region. It will provide a permanent highway link through the south between Mali and Senegal and remove constraints to the movement of persons and goods by reducing overall transport costs as well as speed up economic exchanges between the two countries.

The Project outputs include: road 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.  A juxtaposed control post at the border of both countries will also be built and equipped.

The loan (49.81  million UA for Mali and 8.35 million UA for Senegal), will finance works and control of construction works, an environmental impact mitigation program and a sensitization scheme on road safety, HIV/AIDS and malaria as well as environmental protection.  The grant of 7.9 million UA will be used to finance the transport facilitation and programme management aspects of the project.

The executing agencies of the project include the Regional Development and Infrastructure Department of WAEMU as well as the national highways departments of both countries.

Improvement on the Mali-Senegal southbound corridor will bring socio-economic benefits not only to the two countries but also to the neighboring states of Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania and Burkina Faso.

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