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ABCs of IDA - Africa

The International Development Association, IDA, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, is one of the largest sources of development finance. IDA provides support for health, education, infrastructure, agriculture, economic, and institutional development to the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa.

The world looks to IDA to address big problems—from relief for highly indebted countries, to clean energy for the
millions of Africans without electricity, to support for drought victims in the Horn of Africa. No other international
institution has the mandate, cross-sector knowledge, and resources to respond to complex global challenges with an
exclusive focus on the world’s poorest countries.

During FY2003-2013, IDA provided $66 billion in financing for 951 projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, benefiting 37 countries. With help from IDA, Sub-Saharan Africa is making progress on reducing poverty. Growth has been widespread, and between 2005 and 2008, the region saw the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day fall
by 9 million.

IDA doesn’t just do things as they’ve always been done. We innovate, helping countries leapfrog traditional energy sources by harnessing the sun to light homes and power businesses, and deal with the effects of a changing environment while building climate-smart resilience for the long term. We are connecting small farmers with real-time updates by cell phone to help protect crops against disease and improve food security. We recently funded research that is providing direction for dealing with the causes of Somali piracy. And we are there for the long haul, helping put countries on a path to stability and growth after conflict and other disasters.

Learn more about what IDA has achieved in Africa in the results highlighted on the following pages, and be sure to see our other “ABCs” of IDA, including an overarching ABCs fact sheet, as well as highlights of our work on gender, institutional strengthening, and conflict and fragility at at


  • 2.3 million people gained access to basic social and economic services between 2004 and 2009 with newly built or rehabilitated infrastructure in 18 provinces.
  • 105,000 former soldiers were demobilized and reintegrated into civilian life between 2003 and 2008; more than 260 subprojects were implemented with community-based organizations and nongovernmental organizations.


  • 750,000 people benefited from community-driven projects between 2005 and 2012; 160,000 additional students enrolled in school; and 25,000 people gained access to clean water.
  • 64 percent of children slept under bed nets in 2010, up from 20 percent in 2006, and the number of pregnant women sleeping under bed nets improved from 20 percent to 60 percent during the same period.

IDA Results on the Ground

Burkina Faso

  • There were 31 telephone lines for every 100 people in 2010, up from 1.5 in 2003.
  • 9,741 new formal jobs were created as of mid-2012 and 22,449 enterprises were registered.
  • It now takes 3 days to create an enterprise—down from 45 in 2004—and the number of days needed to obtain a construction permit is 30—down from 260 in 2006.


  • 80 percent of returning refugees and displaced families that received project-financed kits between 2008 and 2011 have returned to normal agricultural life, with 40,000 households—some 216,000 people—in a position to restart agricultural activities.
  • 45 percent of 3,750 subprojects are being implemented by women.
  • 3,124 hectares of watershed are now being sustainably managed, 28,744 hectares of community forest have been established, 71.5 million trees were introduced to the farming systems, and eight provincial land use plans have been completed.

Cape Verde

  • Foreign direct investment grew to $1.16 billion in 2008, up from $38.7 million in 2003; the investments created more than 4,000 new jobs.
  • More than 7 million transactions—totaling $68 million—had taken place through a new electronic Visa credit system by 2009.

Central African Republic

  • 119,000 people were tested for HIV during 2000–12, including more than 10,000 pregnant women, 2,000 teachers, and nearly 7,000 military personnel and their families.
  • 1,023 teachers and 22 heads of school were recruited and trained; 3,000 new curricula were printed; and 178,500 textbooks, 5,596 school kits, and 5,130 table benches were distributed between 2007 and 2012.


  • 2.6 million books were distributed to schools, 400 classrooms were built and equipped, 20,000 people were taught to read and write, and 11,700 community teachers were trained between 2003 and 2012.

IDA Results on the Ground


  • More than 24,000 people suffering from the impact of the global crises and the local floods of 2012 benefited from cash-for-work and community-based infrastructure projects.
  • 71 cash-for-work subprojects have been completed since 2010, creating 95,000 work-days and directly benefiting close to 4,000 individuals (57 percent of whom are women).

Côte d’Ivoire

  • 18,000 ex-combatants, other armed individuals, and youth at risk were reintegrated into society during 2008–12.
  • 74 sub-prefecture offices were constructed, and 65 kilometers of rural roads were rehabilitated using labor-intensive methods, during 2008–12.
  • 44 percent of HIV-infected pregnant women were receiving antiretroviral treatment in 2012 to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission, up from 0 in 2007.

Democratic Republic of Congo

  • 140,000 ex-combatants were demobilized, and 118,000 weapons had been collected by 2011.
  • More than 30,000 children were demobilized and reunited with their parents as of September 2011.


  • 1,325 tons were loaded/unloaded per ship per day in 2009 in Port Massawa, up from 850 in 1996. Congestion has been reduced, and the port now meets international environmental management standards.


  • A 50 percent improvement in public financial management was realized between 2007 and 2010, while tax collection doubled.
  • 60 percent of roads were classified as in good or fair condition in 2010, compared with 22 percent in 1997.

Gambia, The

  • 1,420 community-driven projects—including in agriculture, roads, water, and health projects—were implemented in 600 rural villages and wards between 2007 and 2012; 99 percent of beneficiaries were satisfied with the results.
  • 92 percent of children were enrolled in school in 2009, up from 65 percent in 2000.
  • 46 government sites now have infrastructure supporting financial management information systems, up from just 6 in 2010; and for the first time, 12 budget reports are being published each year.

IDA Results on the Ground


  • More than 300,000 jobs were created between 1999 and 2009 through integrated investment and trade promotion.
  • Under-five mortality rates fell to 80 per 1,000 live births in 2008 from 111 in 2003, due to improved provision of maternal and child health care; immunization coverage improved to 79 percent in 2008 from 69 percent in 2003.
  • 80 percent of the population had access to a telephone by July 2011, up from 60 percent in 2010 and less than 3 percent in 2003.


  • 75 percent of children 12–23 months old were fully immunized in 2012, up from 39 percent in 2011.
  • 95 percent of pregnant women in 2012 received prenatal care from a health care provider, up from 83 percent in 2011.
  • 100 percent of hospitals and health centers are supervised at least twice a year, up from 60 percent in 2011.


  • More than 200 kilometers of roads were rehabilitated during 2011.


  • The disparity between budget allocation and actual spending decreased from about 11 percent in 2005 to 2.4 percent in 2011.
  • 1,450 new jobs were created in micro, small, and medium-size enterprises (SMEs); $17 million in loans were extended to SMEs with a loan-loss rate below 7.5 percent during 2004–12.
  • More than 245,000—or approximately 40 percent—of all orphans and vulnerable children living in extreme poverty were being supported by a safety net program as of 2011.


  • A youth employment project is generating temporary employment for young people through a cash-for-work program to bridge the gap created by the global crisis.
  • A fourfold increase in the number of audits, from 4 in 2009 to 16 in 2011, including for the major spending ministries, occurred as part of the public sector reform process; an additional 10 special—including forensic—audits were also completed.
  • A 19 percent variance between approved and actual budgets in 2007 was cut almost in half (to less than 10 percent) in 2010.
  • 236 financial institution branches were established in rural areas in 2010, offering credit and savings services to 391,000 low-income members at an affordable cost, compared with 59 branches in 1999.


  • 3 million students attending public schools benefited in 2010 from much needed learning and teaching materials.
  • It took 49 days to register a business in 2011, compared with 88 days in 2010.

IDA Results on the Ground


  • 98 percent gross enrollment rate for primary education was achieved as of 2009, up from 88.7 percent in 2002; 69.4 percent of students completed primary school in 2009, up from 46.9 percent in 2003.
  • There was 50.3 percent gender parity among students in 2009, up from 43.3 percent in 2002.


  • Maputo’s city council revenues rose from $3.5 million in 2006 to $9.8 million in 2010 with the introduction of reforms to boost efficiency in municipal financing.
  • 650 tons of urban solid waste were collected per day in 2011, up from 253 tons per day in 2006; solid waste collection rose from serving 100,000 people to serving 1 million people over 5 years.
  • Hundreds of jobs were created through subcontracting the solid waste collection to microenterprises in those areas inaccessible to trash trucks.


  • Prevalence of HIV/AIDS was 0.8 percent as of 2011, one of the lowest rates in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • With IDA support, Niger became Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) compliant in 2011 and adopted provisions under its new constitution to ensure transparency in the use of mineral resources.
  • 541,000 people in urban areas gained access to piped water between 2001 and 2010; the rate of access to rural services was 78 percent in 2009, up from 52 percent in 2001.
  • 41 percent of girls and 52 percent of boys in Kaduna completed primary school in 2011, up from 17.4 percent and 23.5 percent, respectively, in 2007; the completion rate for girls in Kano was 55 percent and for boys 70.9 percent, up from 49 percent and 57 percent, respectively; and the completion rate for girls in Kwara was 50 percent and for boys 57 percent, up from 45 percent and 50 percent, respectively, during the same period.
  • 6,456 teachers were trained between 2007 and 2011.


  • 19,828 people benefited from land husbandry works from 2008 to 2012, which also helped employ 7,000 people.
  • 2,346 hectares of land have been protected against erosion.
  • Rainfed productivity has reached $2,240 per non-irrigated hectare in just one season, and the share of commercialized products from project areas is 69 percent.
  • 83 percent of women and 92 percent of men in the project area are using formal financial institutions.

IDA Results on the Ground


  • 1.4 million people in the capital and other urban centers gained access to clean water as a result of a 2001–09 water sector project; 144,000 more people now have a sewerage connection.
  • 94 percent of children were enrolled in primary school in 2012, compared with 81 percent in 2005, and 67 percent of them completed primary school, compared with 48.7 percent in 2005; there was a 52 percent increase in university enrollment.

Sierra Leone

  • 700,000 people gained access to health facilities; 360,000 children gained access to educational facilities; and 30,000 people benefited from a cash-for-work program—all between 2004 and 2009.
  • A fully functioning local government system has been established, with continuing improvements in transparency and accountability during 2004–09; availability of basic services improved between 2005 and 2008—for example, the percentage of households with access to a school within 30 minutes walking distance—increased from 68 percent to 75 percent.


  • A 45 percent improvement in 86,472 kilometers of mainland roads and 16,000 kilometers of Zanzibar roads between 2002 and 2010 created markets for agriculture and improved trade.
  • 135,387 more hectares of land came under irrigation between 2004 and 2012 for a total of 399,775 in 2012, up from 264,388 in 2006.
  • 1.8 million people had access to improved water sources in 2012, up more than 400 percent from 350,000 in 2005.
  • 20 million work-days were provided in public works in 2012, an increase of 300 percent, from 5.4 million work-days in 2005.
  • 44 percent fewer children died in 2010 than in 1999 with the under-five mortality rate falling to 81 deaths per 1,000 children in 2010 from 144 in 1999; this was due in part to an increase in the number of children sleeping under bed nets from 36.3 percent in 2007 to 72.6 percent in 2010.


  • More than 52,000 people in poor neighborhoods were protected against the 2010 floods.


  • 50 artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) associations were formed by 2011 to support production and marketing as part of an effort to support sustainable management of mineral resources.
  • ASM incomes increased from $3 per day in 2006 to $5–7 per day in 2011, and a new online geological database has helped increase exploration investments from $5 million to $65 million over the course of the project.
  • From 2003 to 2012, more than 3 million people, 47 percent of all northern Ugandans, received access to improved services, including to safe drinking water and better sanitation facilities.
  • The time needed to register a property dropped to 30 days in 2013 from 225 days in 2006, and the time needed to register a business from 135 to 2 days, during the same period.


  • Residents of Kabwe saw their lead levels drop by 40 percent from 2003 to 2011; 140,000 cubic meters of radioactive uranium tailings, 272,000 kilograms of persistent organic pollutants waste, and 56,000 cubic meters of lead-contaminated soils were safely disposed.
  • New houses worth $4 million were built, and 175 families previously living in unsafe housing (the land was caving in as a result of underground mining) were relocated to safer modern houses with piped water and electricity in Kitwe and Mufulira from 2006 to 2010.

IDA Results on the Ground

The International Development Association

The International Development Association (IDA) is a game-changer in the field of development, paving the way for others in the most difficult and complex situations to help hundreds of millions of people escape the cycle of abject poverty.

IDA provides leadership on global challenges. From its support for climate resilience to the creation of jobs to get combatants back into society, IDA rallies others on tough issues for the common good and helps make the world more secure.
  • IDA is transformational. IDA helps countries develop solutions that have literally reshaped the development landscape— from its history-changing agriculture solutions for millions of South Asians who faced starvation in the 1970s to its pioneering work in the areas of debt relief and the phase-out of leaded gasoline.
  • IDA is there for the long haul. IDA stays in a country after the cameras leave, emphasizing long-term growth and capability to make sure results are sustained.
  • When the poorest are ignored because they’re not profitable, IDA delivers. IDA provides dignity and quality of life, bringing clean water, electricity, and toilets to hundreds of millions of poor people.
  • IDA makes the world a better place for girls and women. IDA works to reverse millennia of gender discrimination by getting girls to school, helping women access financing to start small businesses, and ultimately helping to improve the economic prospects of families and communities.
  • Working with the World Bank Group, IDA brings an integrated approach to development. IDA helps create environments where change can flourish and where the private sector can jump-start investment.