World Bank’s record Africa funding includes hydro

The World Bank Group reports it committed a record US$5.8 billion in International Development Association resources to Sub-Saharan Africa in the last fiscal year, US$1 billion more than in the previous year.

Additionally, the bank’s private sector arm, International Finance Corp. provided US$1.38 billion in financing for its own account and mobilized an additional US$261 million in financing through syndications.

The bank said September 4 a significant factor in the increased commitment is an expanding investment in infrastructure, particularly electricity generation. It said electricity is badly needed to sustain healthy growth in higher performing economies and to raise productivity in slow-growth countries.

The bank singled out, as an example, Uganda, where World Bank funding was key to beginning construction of the 250-MW Bujagali hydroelectric project and to additional power sector investments. (HNN 8/13/07)

�Uganda, where power shortages have constrained social and economic development, will benefit from a package of US$360 million in loans and guarantees to support up to 250 MW of additional generating capacity, and a more reliable and efficient power system,� the bank statement said.

In the first half of 2007 alone, the bank was participating in hydropower-related programs in Ghana (HNN 8/27/07), Tanzania (HNN 8/24/07) (HNN 8/6/07), South Africa (HNN 8/17/07), Senegal River Basin (HNN 8/15/07), Democratic Republic of Congo (HNN 8/3/07), Madagascar (HNN 8/2/07), Nigeria (HNN 7/25/07), Niger River Basin (HNN 5/29/07), Mozambique (HNN 5/21/07), Guinea (HNN 5/18/07), Zambezi River Basin (HNN 5/16/07), Kenya (HNN 5/3/07), Rwanda (HNN 3/22/07), and Morocco (HNN 1/16/07).

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