The head of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) traveled to Mali for the signing May 8 of a US$10 million loan to help finance construction of the first phase of 20-MW Taoussa Dam on the Niger River.
BADEA Director General Abdelaziz Khelef was meeting with high-ranking Malian officials as part of a regional tour including Rwanda and Burundi.
Donors at a 2007 summit organized by the Islamic Development Bank pledged nearly US$200 million for Taoussa Dam, also spelled Touussa. (HNN 12/5/07) When completed on the Niger between the ancient Saharan trading cities of Timbuktu and Gao, Taoussa is to provide water for hydropower, irrigation, transportation, and fishing.
BADEA said the project falls under an integrated program for Taoussa Province development, which envisages cultivation of 139,000 hectares by 2040.