$430m Enugu-Cameroon highway to be completed before 2021 end – AFDB

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The African Development Bank (AfDB ) has announced that the $ 430 million highway project linking Enugu to Bamenda in Cameroon will be completed this year. 

The bank, in a statement released on Monday, said it was part of its investments in West Africa which currently amount to $ 16 billion. 

The statement attributes this to assertions by the  AfDB President, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, in a speech to the 59th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government Authority in Ghana. 

According to Adesina, the $ 430 million highway project will transform business opportunities between the two countries. 

He also revealed that the bank is working diligently with the ECOWAS Commission to finalize the feasibility studies for the Abidjan-Lagos corridor by the end of 2021. 

“We expect construction of the corridor to start within 24 months,” Adesina said. 
The bank’s president said the highway would connect 85 percent of ECOWAS’s trade volume through the corridor. 
Adesina, who pointed out that the AfDB is investing heavily in West Africa, said the bank’s total active portfolio in West Africa currently stands at $ 16 billion. 
According to him, the bank’s support for infrastructure in the ECOWAS region has doubled over the past five years, from two billion dollars in 2015 to four billion dollars. 

“While I can list several projects in each country, let me mention a few critical regional infrastructures. The Senegambia Bridge quickly facilitates trade between Senegal and The Gambia. Our funding made it possible to double the capacity of the container port of Lomé in Togo, essential for regional transport and logistics. 

“The Bamako-San Pedro corridor has helped develop trade between Côte d’Ivoire and Mali by 34%, while reducing transit time at the border from 24 hours to just two hours. The 303 km road connecting Ouagadougou and Lomé has reduced the journey time from six days to just two days. 

“Our funding of $ 650 million for the transport corridors connecting Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia will impact economic opportunities for 51 million people. I am happy that this year, the bank is providing financing of 105 million dollars for the road linking Guinea-Bissau and Senegal,” he said. 
Adesina further said the $ 20 billion Desert-to-Power energy program would develop 10,000 MW of solar power to light the Sahel and provide access to electricity to 250 million people. 

“This project will make the Sahel the largest solar zone in the world. Here in Ghana, the bank’s funding of $ 120 million for the new terminal at Kokota International Airport is having huge impacts on regional transport and freight movements. With the new terminal, cargo handling has increased by 30 percent,” Adesina said. 

He added that the bank provided $ 4.5 million for the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat in Accra, to further support regional trade on the continent. 

While recalling the effects of Covid-19 on the continent, the head of the AfDB said the bank had launched a $ 10 billion facility to help African countries get through the difficult times posed by the pandemic. (NAN)

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