News Column

WB Gives Dar Over Sh1 Trillion to Fund Development

July 9, 2014

THE World Bank has committed a record 15.3 billion US dollars (over 24tri/-) to sub-Saharan Africa's development in the July 2013--June 2014 fiscal year, with Tanzania receiving 653 million dollars (over 1tri/-) or 4.3 per cent of the amount.

The amount is an increase of 47 million dollars (over 75bn/-) from 606 million dollars (about 970bn/-) that the country received in the year 2013 from the global institution in terms of loans and grants for both the public and private sectors.

The Breton Woods institution's projects in sub-Saharan Africa included sustainable energy, irrigation, water management, and food security, among others, according to a statement issued by the bank.

The regional 80MW Rusumo hydropower project to benefit Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi is among projects that received funding from the World Bank, according to the statement.

"Africa is making significant progress and at the World Bank we are stepping up the momentum to innovate and think big in order to help our clients achieve their development goals.

"We applaud the improved policies and prudent fiscal decisions many governments have made and we will continue to provide financing through loans and grants and technical expertise," the WB's Vice-President for the Africa Region, Makhtar Diop, was quoted as saying.

During the fiscal year, the bank dished out US $10.6 billion dollars in new lending for 160 projects. The commitments included a new record of US $10.2 billion dollars in zero-interest credits and grants from the International Development Association (IDA), the WB's fund for the poorest countries.

This is the highest level of IDA delivery by any region in the bank's history, according to the statement. Through its private investment arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the bank focused on bridging the infrastructure gap, promoting a productive real sector and leading inclusive business approaches to help drive growth and job creation.

"IFC investments on the continent amounted to over US $4.2 billion dollars, with over US $3 billion dollars committed in IDA countries and almost US $800 million dollars in fragile and conflict affected states," the statement read in part.

IFC also spent US $55 million dollars on advisory service programmes in the region, 96 per cent of which was distributed to IDA countries.

On the other hand, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) issued guarantees of US $515 million dollars in support of projects in the oil and gas, power, services, and telecommunications sectors.

The agency also teamed up with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation to establish a US $350-million dollars political risk facility that will support planned investments in sustainable agribusiness in up to 13 countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

The bank noted with concern however that despite the fact that sub-Saharan Africa was blessed with large hydro power resources that could create electricity, only 10 per cent of its potential had been harnessed. "Boosting access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy is a primary objective of the Bank's work in Africa.

During the year projects focused on developing hydro power potential and providing new forms of sustainable power to increase energy production", reads part of the WB statement.

The bank also supports country-led efforts to improve agricultural productivity by linking farmers to markets and reducing risk and vulnerability, increase rural employment and make agriculture more environmentally sustainable.

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Source: AllAfrica

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