The World Bank Group announced US$1 billion to support the African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI) through various programs to help the countries in the region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) improve their health and education services, expand cross-border trade and finance hydroelectric projects.
AGLI is intended for African nations that include Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda Uganda and the DRC and is aimed at supporting the peace agreement signed in February 2013 by 11 countries.
The Managing Director of the World Bank Group, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, traveled to the DRC this month to meet with President Joseph Kabila Kabange, Prime Minister Matata Ponyo, and key members of the Congolese government on the long-term development prospects for the DRC as well as progress related to the Great Lakes Regional Initiative.
According to a World Bank Group press release, Indrawati’s visit confirms the continued support of the Group for this regional initiative, which was launched after the joint visit of World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in May 2013.
In the past four years, according to AGLI, experienced volunteer mediators from the U.S. have conducted initial mediation training sessions. “
The training has been highly appreciated by the participants and other local people because of the great need,” said AGLI. “Change Agents for Peace International (CAPI), in collaboration with AGLI, is contributing to this new program in the Great Lakes Region. Currently the mediation program works under CAPI and has begun to show positive results. More than 200 cases have been resolved successfully and others are still being addressed.”
The World Bank Group is one of the main partners of the DRC. Its portfolio includes 25 current projects amounting to US$3.5 billion, including two regional projects totaling US$1.14 billion.
The World Bank Group said AGLI supports mainly projects related to infrastructure rehabilitation (roads, railway, potable water, and electricity); public finance management governance in four provinces and the mining sector; public enterprise reform and improvement of the business climate; health and education infrastructure rehabilitation as well as health, education, and social protection service improvements; national parks and forest management; and agriculture.