ECOWAS applauds AfDB on investments in sub-regional projects

ECOWAS applauds AfDB on investments in sub-regional projects

The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has commended the African Development Bank, AfDB, for its huge investments in several projects across the West African sub-region.

The AfDB’s current portfolio of investments in West Africa as peaked at $20 billion with a strong focus on critical sectors.

The bank’s support in the region includes €525 million for the construction of the Blaise Diagne International Airport in Senegal and $120 million for the new Terminal 3 for Kotoka International Airport in Ghana

In addition, it has provided $30 million for the construction of the Mandela Praia Airport in Cape Verde and $130 million to enable Air Côte d’Ivoire acquire a new fleet.

Other investments include €60 million for the Lomé Container Terminal port and another $96 million for the new landmark Senegambia Bridge that now links the Gambia and Senegal. A €183 million facility was critical for Senegal’s Regional Express Train.

During the AfDB’s second Africa Investment Forum held in November 2019, the bank and its partners mobilized $2.6 billion in investment for the development of the Accra Sky Train and $251 million towards the Lagos Cable Car Transit System projects.

The President of ECOWAS, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou at the 56th Ordinary Session of the sub-regional body in Abuja said the bank’s investments in West Africa are yielding remarkable results.

Brou noted that the AfDB had provided “invaluable technical and financial intervention in the implementation of numerous projects and programmes.

“The region’s economy is showing positive achievements, reaching 3.3 percent growth in 2019. Despite facing significant challenges, particularly with regards to security. ECOWAS member states have demonstrated remarkable resilience”, the president said.

The President of the AfDB, Akinwunmi Adesina said the bank has always been there at the right time, with the right product, for the right needs of countries.

“Such was the case in Nigeria, where the bank helped to provide $600 million of budget support that helped it get out of recession, a tough time for Nigeria. The Bank also provided $500 million to establish the Development Bank of Nigeria. Last week, we provided $280 million to support social investments in Côte d’Ivoire,” he added.

Adesina told the delegates that they can always count on the AfDB even as he highlighted the bank’s $1.5 billion financing for the development of major transport corridors to improve connectivity in the ECOWAS region.

Among them is the construction and rehabilitation of 4,000 kilometers of main corridor roads and the Lagos-Abidjan Highway will become a reality.

He further disclosed that AfDB is providing $11.1 million to the ECOWAS Commission to develop the Master Plan for the Lagos-Abidjan highway corridor and will be providing an additional $13.5 million for feasibility studies to be completed next year while construction is expected to start in 2022.

The president said current initiatives include a $25 billion investment to turn Africa into a global powerhouse in food and agriculture. This, he added, includes financing special agro-industrial processing zones in northern Togo, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.

“An integrated monetary zone and financial markets; a free zone for trade, with free movement of people, capital, goods and services; an ECOWAS region whose new currency would be ECO; and the echoes of that will reverberate across the world,” Adesina enthused.

President Muhammadu Buhari assured ECOWAS that Nigeria was committed to regional integration, requesting members to channel collective energies towards accelerating sustainable peace, security, stability and inclusive economic growth.

“It is always gratifying when our regional bloc comes together to advance our agenda for regional integration and promote the socioeconomic development of our sub-region,” he told the high-level meeting.

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