AfDB secures over $32.8b investment commitment for African projects, $15.6b Lagos-Abidjan highway
President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, yesterday, announced that the bank has secured $42 billion investment deals for bankable projects scattered in different parts of the continent.
Adesina, during the closing session of the African Investment Forum (AIF) virtual boardrooms, said the biggest of the deals is the $15.6 billion Lagos-Abidjan Highway project. The project is designed to connect five major cities in five West African countries – Lagos, Cotonou, Lome, Accra and Abidjan.
An excited Adesina said the project “will support 75 per cent of West African trade, impact the lives of over 500 million people, reduce transport cost across the sub-region by 48 per cent and increase intra-regional trade by 15 to 25 per cent.”
According to him, the highway will also connect landlocked countries to ports. The project will cover approximately 1,028 kilometres and eight border crossings. The corridor’s current alignment traverses all major economic centres of the five participating member countries, starting from Bingerville, a suburb of Abidjan, and ending at Eric Moore, in Lagos.
AIF, a project of AfDB in conjunction with other institutions in Africa, had opened the deals on Tuesday, seeking $58 billion to execute 42 bankable critical projects in Africa, including the proposed highway and a $140 million film academy in Nigeria.
The projects included a $3.3 billion East Africa railway corridor connecting Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as linking Rwanda to Tanzania.
Others were $247 million special agro-industrial processing zones in northern Cote d’Ivoire, a $545 million lithium mine project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which will be critical for the global electric car industry, and women-led businesses worth $5 billion.
Adesina said the success recorded in the three-day negotiation demonstrated that “Africa is bankable.” He added that the sessions were more fascinating because women businesses ranging from small to large were involved.
Recalling that the bank spent about $450 million supporting women enterprises last year, he disclosed that about $500 million will be spent for the same purpose this year.