The African Development Bank (AfDB) has secured $32.8 billion in investment for various projects within the African continent. This, as the bank plans to revive the continent’s economy in the wake of the financially devastating Covid-19 pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Previously, the bank publicly promised to “wean” the continent off agricultural imports from the two European countries as Africa relies heavily on them for both investment and produce.
The largest deal the bank has signed is $15.6 billion for the Lagos-Abidjan highway which will connect Nigeria to the Ivory Coast. This highway will span across six lanes, and stretch across 1 200 kilometres. It is estimated to reach completion in approximately six years.
This highway is also predicted to support a whopping 75% of trade within West Africa, and reduce the cost of transport by 48%.
It is just one of several that will touch on key sectors such as agro-processing, agriculture, energy and climate, information and communication technology, minerals and mining and healthcare.
Last week, the AfDB also concluded a three-day summit with various East African states. The largest contract signed during the summit for East Africa is a $3.3 billion railway corridor that will run from Dar es Salaam through Bujumbura to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with an extension to Kigali as a public-private partnership project.
“There is a lot of political support and goodwill for this. I can’t wait to see this railway,” said Dr Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB president.
“This is all part of improving the regional integration, and also accelerating the Africa Free Trade Area. It is going to drive down the cost of moving things.”
Huge investment in Niger
The bank also approved funding of $127.8 million for Niger. This will be used to make farming more accessible and open up pastoral lands in the country’s east, where it borders along Nigeria.
“This is one of the priority projects within the national transport strategy. It is intended to maximize the benefits gained from the wealth of resources and opportunities offered by this region, which will amplify its impact on development, improve the resilience of those living there, and contribute, through the growth it generates, to the transformation of the rural setting,” said AfDB director-general for West Africa, Marie Laure Akin-Olugbade.
The primary purpose of the integrated project to open up the Hamdara-Wacha-Dungass production zones on the Nigerian border is to improve a 110-kilometer road. This is a critical interstate road that will help to improve transportation connectivity to areas with significant agricultural, forestry, and animal farming potential.
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