World Bank appoints Clara Ana De Sousa as Country Director for the Sahel countries

WEST AFRICA – The World Bank has appointed Clara Ana De Sousa, a Mozambican national, as the new Country Director for the Sahel countries including Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger. She will be based in Bamako, Mali. Clara De Sousa was previously Manager for the IDA Strategy and Operations unit where she was responsible for the replenishment and stewardship of IDA. She joined the Bank in June 2005 as a Senior Economist in the Economic Policy Sector in the Latin America and Caribbean region and has since held various…

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IFC and East Africa Bank unveils US$5m trade finance guarantee to support businesses in Djibouti

DJIBOUTI – The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has announced a US$5 million trade finance guarantee facility to Djibouti- based East Africa Bank (EAB) to help local companies engage in cross-border trade. The support is a vital engine of economic growth that has been strained by the COVID-19 pandemic, IFC’s trade finance facility guarantee of up to US$5 million under its Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP) will help EAB provide financing to importers and exporters in Djibouti, supporting the local economy and helping maintain…

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Morocco secures US$450m loan from World Bank to improve its digital infrastructure

MOROCCO – The World Bank has announced through a press release that it would be awarding Morocco a US$450 million loan through its Financial and Digital Inclusion Development Policy Financing (DPF) program. The loan aims to expand the availability of financial services and digital infrastructure for individuals and businesses, as well as improving financial inclusion and digital entrepreneurship. This is the second of three DPF loans the World Bank plans to give to Morocco. Morocco plans to use the loan to continue to improve its digital infrastructure with the intent…

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Benin secures US$200m funding from World Bank to improve access to electricity services

BENIN – The World Bank approved US$200 million in International Development Association (IDA), funding to help Benin improve access to electricity services for households, businesses, and basic public services. The Benin Electricity Access Scale-Up Project will carry out densification and extension works to increase access to grid electricity services for households, small and medium enterprises, and some basic public services. About 2,000 km of medium voltage lines and 4,000 km of low voltage lines will be constructed or rehabilitated and 80,000 kVA of transformers installed in 1,100 localities. At least…

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World Bank approves US$142m loan to integrate solar energy into Zanzibar grid

ZANZIBAR – The World Bank Group has approved US$142 million for the modernisation of Zanzibar’s electricity network and the integration of renewable energy and allow the electrification of 400,000 people in this Indian Ocean archipelago. Of this funding, US$117 million represents a credit from the International Development Association (IDA) while remaining US$22 million is a loan from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), which is also providing a US$3 million grant. The funds will be used to implement the Zanzibar Energy Sector Access and Transformation Project (Zesta). The project is being…

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IFC in new pact to develop affordable housing units in Kenya

KENYA – The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has signed a new deal with Belco Realty LLP, a real estate development firm in support of affordable mixed use affordable living complex in Mombasa, Kenya. The mixed-use affordable housing will consist of 1,379 residential units and over 4,500 square meters of retail and commercial spaces in Kongowea, Mombasa County. Together with the Kenyan firm, IFC says the partnership will help meet surging demand for housing in Kenya. Under the agreement, IFC will help identify suitable…

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Sub-Saharan Africa records 2.4% economic decline, worst recession in 60 years – World Bank

SSA – The economic output of economies in Sub-Sahara Africa declined by 2.4% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the region’s first economic contraction in a generation and the deepest recession since the 1960s, latest World Bank reports indicates.  However, the recession was milder than previously projected as the virus spread more slowly than anticipated and agricultural activity was unexpectedly intense in some countries such as Benin, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria. According to the June 2021 issue of the  Global Economic Prospects Reportby the World Bank, growth in the Sub-Sahara region has…

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World Bank gives Kenya US$750m for COVID-19 recovery

KENYA – The government of Kenya has received US$ 750 million from the World Bank to reinforce its resilient, inclusive green economy recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. The World Bank approved this development policy financing to support policy reforms that will strengthen transparency and accountability in public procurement and promote efficient public investment spending. The support will enable Kenya to improve its medium-term fiscal and debt sustainability through greater transparency and efficiency in government spending, building on ongoing World Bank support to enhance public finance management systems. The operation provides for…

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World Bank to support development of agri-food sector in Cote d’Ivoire with US$250m financing

COTE D’IVOIRE – The World Bank has approved US$250 million in total financing from IDA to support the development of the agri-food sector and the creation of thousands of jobs in rural areas of Cote d’Ivoire. With this financing, the Agri-Food Sector Development Project aims to remove the major obstacles hindering the growth of the agri-food sector and spur the development of more inclusive, resilient and competitive agri-food value chains. The project will promote real opportunities to forge private partnerships among stakeholders in targeted value chains such as cassava, horticulture,…

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Gambia launches US$23m electricity project to benefit 685 communities

GAMBIA – The Gambian Vice President has laid the foundation stone for the Greater Banjul Area (GBA) Transmission and Distribution Modernisation Project at the Salagi Forest Park which is part of its plan to meet the target of Energy for all. The project is co-funded by the World Bank, European Union, and European Investment Bank as part of The Gambia’s Electricity Restoration and Modernisation Project (GERMP) at a total project cost of US$23 million, with the contract awarded to TBEA, a Chinese company. Fafa Sanyang, the country’s Minister of Petroleum…

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