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Monday, July 22, 2024

AfDB invests over $252.1M in Gambia

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As of 31 March 2024, the African Development Bank had 17 active projects in The Gambia valued at $252.1 million, according to the Bank’s recent country progress report.

The Bank further disclosed that these projects are public operations financed mainly by grants.

“The transport sector accounted for the largest share of funding (51.2%), followed by agriculture and rural development (21%), energy (17.5%), water and sanitation (7.7%), governance (2.6%), and the social sector (2.6%),” the AfDB report said.

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It also revealed that the Bank’s investments in The Gambia’s energy sector have significantly improved access to affordable and reliable electricity, with at least 70% of Gambians projected to have power by the end of 2024 (50% in rural areas),

“These projects include an interconnection with Senegal, which provides 50 megawatts of power to augment the Gambia’s bulk supply system.”

The report, approved by the Bank Group’s Board on 13 June 2024, reflects results obtained halfway through the execution of the Bank’s 2021-2025 Country Strategy Paper for the Gambia highlighting remarkable achievements in the country’s energy, agriculture, and transport sectors.

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It said the AfDB has increased its support for economic diversification and resilience in the Gambia, taking into account the country’s long-term development priorities,

On agriculture, the Bank’s assistance in this sector has boosted productivity, increased production and attracted private investment.

“Rice yields have risen from 2.2 to 4 tons per hectare thanks to the implementation of the Bank’s flagship Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) initiative and the Rice Value Chain Transformation Program (RVCP). Yields of maize, groundnut, cowpea and sorghum also improved during the first period of CSP implementation. Enhanced irrigation on 4,369 hectares increased rice production by 27,828 tonnes, and support for local seed producers has ensured sustainable supplies of seeds,” the AfDB said.

In the transport sector, the Bank featured the Trans-Gambia Bridge and its ancillary road network which links major routes and destinations, promoting the efficient movement of goods and people, supporting trade, raising incomes and improving livelihoods throughout West Africa.

It said the bridge construction has reduced transport costs along the trans-Gambia corridor by cutting journey times previously held up by ferry crossings and passenger and freight transport costs are expected to fall by between 50 and 100% compared to costs before the investment in the bridge.

The number of journeys by households to educational and health establishments is also expected to double.

Dr Joseph Ribeiro, the Bank’s Deputy-Director General for West Africa, said the interventions aim to help The Gambia lay the foundations for socio-economic transformation.

“The AfDB has increased its support for economic diversification and resilience in the Gambia, taking into account the country’s long-term development priorities and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and targeting factors of fragility,” he stated.

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