The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group Board (http://www.afdb.org) approved on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 in Tunis a US $22.56-million African Development Fund loan to finance Senegal’s Community Roads Project. The Community Roads Project in support of the National Local Development Programme (PPC/PNDL) seeks to help improve the rural population’s access to basic socio-economic services and increase rural income and employment.
Its main expected outputs are: (i) strengthening of rural communities’ (RC) capacity to supervise works; (ii) improvement of 875 km of roads with related socio-economic infrastructure; and (iii) maintenance of 5,000 km of roads countrywide with a sustainable road maintenance mechanism in place to facilitate RC access to resources of the Autonomous Road Maintenance Fund (FERA), via a special earmarked allotment.
On completion of the project, apart from rendering 187 RCs accessible, 935 elected officials and 2,700 youths (40% of them women) and 126 agents (20% of them women) of Regional Development Agencies (ARD) and Devolved Technical Services (STD) will be trained to assist in the supervision of road works, while 2,000 rural jobs will be created. The project will induce a 20% rise in income.
The first phase of the project (PPC/PNIR) finance by the Bank comprised 1,200 km of roads, which have helped to improve the living conditions of 1,500,000 people in 84 RCs. It was a powerful lever for strengthening decentralization and local governance, thanks to works supervision by RCs themselves. These excellent results justify the Bank’s continued financing of a second phase to cover other RCs, consolidate the gains of Phase I and create access for two million people.
The project will help to update information on the non-classified road network through a database to be put in place. It will also build RCs’ capacity to supervise rural road works. The capacity of RCs and their community interest groups will be strengthened to enable them to better discharge their duties of supervision and management of rural roads. The project will prepare road supervision/maintenance manuals and suitable tools for socio-economic and environmental monitoring, and management/joint management of accessibility-enhancing infrastructure, as well as ensure their wide dissemination in the target areas.
The African Development Fund, the African Development Bank Group’s concessional window, will contribute US $22.56 million (UA 15 million), which represents 33% of the project cost. OPEC Fund, Autonomous Road Maintenance Fund (FERA), Rural Communities, and the government will provide the remaining amount.