In fiscal year 2013 (FY13), the World Bank Group’s financial commitment to SSA, a major priority for the institution, was US$15.4 billion and included:
- $8.2 billion in the International Development Association (IDA) credits, grants, and guarantees, up from $7 billion from the previous year.
- $5.3 billion from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for private sector development projects.
- $42 million in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) lending.
- $1.5 billion in the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) guarantees for projects.
The Bank Group’s support focused on major transformational projects in agriculture and power, and also on social safety nets, conditional cash transfers for poor families, job creation programs for young people, and higher education.
The Niger’s Kandadji Program to Boost Regional Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Electricity in the Sahel approved by the Bank in October 2012 will promotes greater synergy among the agriculture, environment, energy , and water sectors in the Niger River Basin. It will benefit some of the poorest countries in the world and help to increase food production, generate more electricity, create jobs, and develop economic opportunities for communities in the Niger Basin.
The Bank also increased its focus in Africa on regional drivers of fragility and conflict, especially regarding the Sahel and the Great Lakes regions. In May 2013, the World Bank Group announced a $1 billion development pledge to help countries in the Great Lakes region provide better health and education services, generate more cross border trade, and fund hydroelectricity projects in support of the Great Lakes peace agreement.
Signaling a renewed focus on boosting economic growth and lifting people out of devastating poverty in Africa’s hard-hit Sahel region, the World Bank Group pledged $1.5 billion to the Sahel in November 2013, which is additional to its ongoing development multi-country and national programs in the region already worth several billion dollars. The funding will create more hydropower and other sources of clean energy to greatly expand irrigation and transform agriculture; protect and expand pastoralism for more than 80 million people living in the Sahel who rely on it as a major source of food and livelihoods; expand health services for women and girls; and improve regional communications and connectivity between countries.
Africa’s future depends on adapting existing and future technology more rapidly. Large productivity gains are possible through better training of Africans in science and technology, and enhanced agricultural technology. During FY13, the Bank helped to bring higher education, with an emphasis on science, back into the development agenda. African economies urgently need highly skilled technicians and engineers, especially for energy and infrastructure.
In March 2014, at a high level Forum on Higher Education for Science, Technology and Innovation, the Bank, along with the Government of Rwanda and several other African Governments highlighted Africa’s urgent need for larger numbers of scientists, engineers, and technicians who can meet the growing market demand for such expertise and contribute to development and shared prosperity in their countries. The Africa Region is currently preparing for submission to its Board of Directors, a $150 million project for the establishment of the Africa Centers of Excellence with the first phase to focus on West and Central Africa.
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2014