The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is investing $11.5 billion in implementing an infrastructure project in West Africa, the regional Bank’s Director-General, West Africa Regional Development, and Business Delivery Office, Ms. Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbage, said in an interview on Sunday, June 26, 2022.
According to Ms. Akin-Olugbade, 39% of the investment of $4.5 billion has been allocated for transport infrastructure, while 19% or $2.1 billion will be invested in energy infrastructure, adding that $0.65 billion (5.6%) had been set aside to support water and sanitation.
The director-general who listed the countries benefiting from some of AfDB’s infrastructure projects said the $11.5 billion investment excluded projects in Nigeria, with the benefitting countries being Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Senegal, and the People’s Republic of Congo, among others.
The AfDB is supporting the Freetown WASH and Aquatic Environmental Revamping Project in Sierra Leone to increase access to safe water supply by 15% and improve sanitation by 7%.
“The project will directly benefit an estimated 1,400,000 people (51% women), provided with access to safe water, including new access for 1,000,000 people and restoration of regular daily water service for 400,000 people. The project will create more than 2,700 jobs and restore the Freetown peninsula water-shed,” said Ms. Akin-Olugbade.
She said the regional Bank had financed the transportation infrastructure between Lome and Cotonou, thereby reducing the time it takes for goods to move from Burkina Faso to the port of Lome.
Ms. Akin-Olugbade noted that good connectivity was necessary if the dream of the AfCFTA was to materialize.
“The Bank is very proud of the significant investment it has made alongside ECOWAS developing the West Africa Power Pool, which has a consistent significant investment in transmission lines, interconnection lines,” she said. The director-general noted that infrastructure projects were among the big sector projects the Bank plans to do more in the region and Africa.