DAKAR, February 12, 2010 - President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal has strongly called on developed nations to support the World Bank Group’s bid for a capital increase and to boost resources for the Bank’s fund for low income countries.
President Wade called for this support in a special declaration broadcast on national television during a meeting Thursday in Dakar with World Bank Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and IFC’s Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America & Caribbean and Western Europe.
Okonjo-Iweala and Tanoh ended a two-day visit to Senegal on Friday.
“The World Bank is doing great results-oriented work for African countries, in a real spirit of partnership and confidence,” Wade said.“While we recognize the financial crisis has taken a toll on all nations, it is important that developed countries ensure the World Bank Group is fully capitalized in the future to continue to support developing nations on the African continent.”
Before meeting with President Wade, Okonjo-Iweala and Tanoh met with Senegal’s Prime Minister and several members of his Government as well as with Senegal’s development partners.
These meetings allowed them to review Senegal’s economic performance, particularly in light of recent external shocks, including energy, which the country has to face. In that regard, the Managing Director and Vice President congratulated Senegal for the manner in which it managed the crisis while sustaining achievements of macro-economic stability. They also emphasized the importance of the private sector in Senegal’s growth.
More specifically, they highlighted the importance of the country's public procurement regulation agency (Agence de Régulation des marchés publics), stating that it has become a reference for the World Bank, notably due to its financial and management autonomy.
During their visit, the World Bank Managing Director and the IFC Vice-President also participated in the public launching ceremony of the Dakar-Diamniado toll road in Rufisque, a locality 20 kilometers outside Dakar. This road will play an important role in linking Dakar to the rest of the country and the sub-region.
Okonjo-Iweala, speaking on behalf of Senegal’s development partners involved in the project (African Development Bank, French Development Agency and World Bank) mentioned that this project is "a partnership model in which players face all the challenges together and exploit opportunities to achieve a common goal of development ".
It should be noted that ADB, AFD and the World Bank will allocate funding to Senegal of approximately U.S. $234 million for the creation of the toll road while thanks to a public-private partnership, French company Eiffage will invest U.S. $110 million.
The visit of the two officials of the World Bank Group has also been an opportunity for a thorough exchange with the private sector on its role in Senegal’s economic growth. Private sector investors – both national and foreign - welcomed the World Bank’s support in improving the investment climate. They requested and received support to organize two meetings per year between the World Bank and the private sector to take stock of progress made.
The trip was also used for a signing ceremony between IFC, the Office National de l’Electricité of Morocco, known as O.N.E., and Comasel of St.Louis for the first rural electrification concession of Senegal. “This project will be one of IFC’s first in rural electrification and aims by 2013 to connect almost 20,000 new households in 298 villages through a mix of grid connections and individual solar kits,” said Thierry Tanoh. He further emphasized IFC support to small and medium businesses, particularly those run by women.
The World Bank Managing Director and the IFC Vice President also met Mr. Jean-Baptiste Compaoré, Vice Governor if the Central Bank of West African States.
They completed their visit Friday with a press conference.