Tuesday, 18 December 2012 00:00
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OPEC Fund approves fresh $103.5m to boost socio- economic development in Africa

The Governing Board of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), meeting in its 141st Session, has approved seven loans and three grants totaling US$103.5 million to boost socio-economic development in 13 African countries.

The loans are as follows: DR Congo Kinshasa Roads Network Rehabilitation ($8m). To pave around 13 km of roads in Kinshasa city and install drainage works, thus affording the population with a safer, less expensive and more efficient means of travel.
*Djibouti: Support to the Economic Development Fund of Djibouti ($3m). To help entrepreneurs start and/or expand their own businesses through the issuance and management of around 500 loans to SMEs and young graduates.  Also planned is the provision of institutional support to the Development Fund.  
Egypt: On-Farm Irrigation Development ($35m). To modernize irrigation infrastructure in four governorates to improve water efficiency, increase yields and boost incomes of smallholder farmers. This will, in turn, help reduce poverty levels and increase food security for about 70,000 people.    
Kenya: Kenya Electricity Expansion ($15m). To provide the population with access to modern, clean and affordable energy services through the expansion and upgrading of energy-related infrastructure. This will result in around 300,000 new connections for households, small businesses and public institutions.         
Madagascar:  Road Infrastructure Rehabilitation ($18m). To improve 105 km of roads in the Atsimo-Andrefana region, an area with high poverty levels. The rehabilitated roads will facilitate access to social services and marketplaces, thereby contributing  to rural poverty reduction by improving the agricultural potential of the region, as well as helping boost the tourism sector.    
Madagascar:  National Institute for Accounting and Management Construction ($3.5m). To build a seven-story facility that will expand the capacity of the current institute by 400 enrolments.  This will help strengthen the country’s higher education sector, and in turn contribute to the overall economic development of the country.    

Sierra Leone:  Fourah Bay College Development ($13m).  To enhance the quality of higher education by expanding and rehabilitating existing facilities, thus increasing admission levels and providing more opportunities for students to secure good jobs.  

Tanzania: Orkesumet Water Supply ($8m).  To provide potable water supplies to around 43,000 people living in Orkesumet City and neighboring villages through the construction of water-related infrastructure.

Three grants totaling over US$1.4 million were also approved at the meeting in support of the following project/programs:

•African Rescue Committee. US$300,000. Integrated Livelihood and WASH Support for Drought Affected Communities in Somalia. To improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene services and improve productive infrastructure for drought affected households, representing around 35,000 individuals.

•  Austrian Development Agency. US$506,000. Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative - Phase II. To promote the application of solar technologies in Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe through the provision of training and capacity building; awareness campaigns; and, installation of solar demonstration systems in targeted areas.

• World Health Organization. US$600,000. Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Interventions for Cholera Prevention and Control in Chad and Cameroon. To support a project that aims at preventing cholera and other waterborne diseases for around 140,000 people.

Since its inception, OFID has committed over US$14.5 billion in much-needed concessional development financing to 132 developing countries around the world, with priority given to the poorest amongst them.  Of these, 53 are in Africa.


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