IsDB approves US$371m funding for rail and road projects in West Africa

The West African countries of Senegal, Guinea, the Gambia, Sierra Leone and Niger are all set for major transport infrastructure upgrades.

By Chriselle Moraes on
16th January 2022

The Board of Directors of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has approved a funding package of US$371 million to finance transport projects in five West African countries. The funding was approved during the 343rd Board of Directors meeting which took place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on 18 December 2021, chaired by IsDB President and Chairman of the Board, H.E. Dr Muhammad Al Jasser.

The new funding approved for transport projects in West African countries include:

  • Senegal - €100 million (US$113 million) for the “Regional Express Train (TER) (Phase-II) Project. This project will reduce the traffic burden between Dakar City Center and Blaise Diagne International Airport by cutting down travel time from 1.5 hours to 0.5 hours. This will also help reduce operating costs and air pollution. It will cover a total length of 19km.
  • Guinea – €159.56 million (US$180.7 million) for the “Construction of Labé-Mali Road” in North Guinea. This project will help support economic infrastructure in agricultural areas, improve accessibility to rural areas and boost agriculture and mining value chains. The 120 km road will help in the movement of agricultural and mining products to markets. It will also boost tourism in the area.
  • The Gambia – US$14 million for the “Widening of BERTIL – HARDING Highway Project”. This 22km road will provide a major lifeline to connect Old Jeshwang to Banjul International Airport. Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, and the Gambian Government have also formed a consortium to provide support for this project. This project will support the economic growth of the country by solving transport issues and increasing the percentage of primary road networks from 80% to 100%.
  • Sierra Leone – US$40.98 million was granted for the RRM Project which aims to improve regional integration roads. Technical details of the project will be announced at a later date.
  • Niger – €20.49 million (US$23.2 million) for the “Upgrading of the Douchi – Kurdula- Nigeria Border Road Project”. It will develop Niger socio-economically, reduce travel costs and travel time and increase access to social amenities.

The US$371 million funding approval for the  transport infrastructure projects in Senegal, Guinea, the Gambia, Sierra Leone and Niger is part of a total amount of US$1.6 billion approved to finance 24 new development projects in 19 member countries of the IsDB. The Jeddah-based AAA-rated IsDB will fund projects ranging from “road construction and high-speed transport; clean and renewable energy; poultry, fisheries, irrigation and agriculture; child nutrition; academic and technical education; as well as vocational training.”

Top Photo: Road through village near Lampoul Desert in Senegal (Siempreverde | Dreamstime)

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