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PRESS RELEASE

World Bank Approves Funds to Strengthen Togo’s Economic Growth and Public Enterprise Oversight

December 5, 2013

WASHINGTON, December 5, 2013 - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$14 million International Development Association (IDA)* credit to boost the Government of Togo’s efforts to enhance public finance management, and strengthen economic governance and growth in a variety of sectors central to Togo’s economy, such as agriculture, mining, banking and telecommunications.  

“Togo has good prospects for sustained economic growth due to its abundant supplies of high quality phosphate, a favorable climate for agriculture, a natural deep sea port and a dynamic commerce sector,” said World Bank Country Director for Togo Madani M. Tall. “The depth and severity of poverty in Togo has increased. Today’s operation focuses on a set of policy reforms that target the most destitute and that are expected to promote widespread income growth, job creation and poverty reduction.”

Today’s financing will support Togo’s Sixth Economic Growth and Governance Credit (EGGC-6), and is closely aligned with the Government’s second Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP-II) aimed at reinvigorating growth and reducing poverty. Today’s EGGC-6 builds on reforms supported by previous programs, but puts more emphasis on growth enhancing measures and strengthening economic governance and oversight of public enterprises.

The Sixth Economic Growth and Governance Credit is comprised of two overarching pillars: Pillar 1 will enhance the efficiency and transparency of public finance management through the release of public finance information, by strengthening external oversight and by automating procurement.

Pillar 2 will strengthen economic governance and the foundations for growth in sectors such as agriculture, cotton, mining (phosphate, limestone) electricity and telecommunications. Many of these reforms are designed to be particularly beneficial to poor, rural households such as small hold and cotton farmers. The reforms include improving transparency in the cotton-farming sector, and enhanced access to fertilizers.

The project will also support improvements in the microfinance sector as a step towards increasing access to the country’s formal financial system, and reforms in the telecom sector such as the introduction of mobile banking.

This project’s focus on economic governance is designed to bring rapid poverty reduction through improved competitiveness and enhanced growth,” said Johannes Hoogeveen, World Bank Task Team Leader for this project. “I look forward to helping to implement this important program.”

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing loans (called “credits”) and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 81 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $15 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.

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PRESS RELEASE NO:
2014/225/AFR