US$70 million to Mali Urban Local Government Support Project

June 7, 2011

The project targets five cities: Bamako, the capital, and four secondary cities (Kayes, Sikasso, Ségou and Mopti). Particular emphasis is placed on the secondary cities in order to increase their economic competitiveness with Bamako, and hence their ability to capture a greater share of the demographic shift to the urban areas

WASHINGTON, June 07, 2011- The World Bank’s Executive Board approved today a credit of US$70 million to finance the Mali Urban Local Government Support Project aiming to strengthen institutional performance of targeted urban local governments.

The higher level goals of the project, to which achievement of the Project development objective will contribute, are improved service delivery and enhanced governance and accountability at the local level, in the urban areas of Mali. “Increased responsibility and accountability for urban local governments will be built around a performance-based fiscal framework that would allow predictable resource transfers to local level, an annual independent assessment of their performance, disclosed to the public and a capacity support mechanism to enhance their ability to meet performance criteria”, said Zié Ibrahima Coulibaly, the Bank’s Task Team Leader. He also stressed that the approach is intended to result in improved local government performance that would positively affect the services received by the poor, as well as have positive impacts on the cities’ contribution to local economic development through expanding both the level and efficiency of public sector investment.

In seeking to achieve these goals, the design of the proposed project forms an integral part of the Country assistance Strategy (CAS) in support of the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Framework (GPRSF) and is fully aligned with the Africa Regional Strategy (ARS) through supporting the underlying foundation in terms of both demand and supply sides activities for improved governance and strengthened public sector capacity.

The project is specifically foreseen in the CAS to support decentralization under Strategic Objective II: Strengthening Public Sector Performance. ”This will be done through building of local administration capacity and support to community development and citizen participation in setting investment priorities”, added the Task Team Leader. The assistance provided to urban centers will improve their capacity to mobilize and manage resources and implement infrastructure projects using their own funds. This is in line with especially the second pillar of the GPRSF, targeting consolidation of public sector reforms, and also corresponds to the expected focus of the GPRSF II (2012-2017) on deepening decentralization and allocating resources to local governments commensurate with their mandate.

The project is designed in accordance with the principles of the ARS, in which a major area of engagement for the Bank is to support the development of fiscal, administrative and urban planning capacities in African cities. The Project further focuses drainage and flood protection for Bamako, which is relevant to disaster risk management and climate change in the context of vulnerability and resilience.

The primary project beneficiaries are the inhabitants of the project cities. The main benefit will come from overall improved urban and municipal management and direct involvement in setting investment priorities. Concrete investments and maintenance activities financed with the proceeds of the performance grants will benefit this entire target group either directly or indirectly. Municipal councils and administrations for the project secondary cities and the Bamako District Council and administration will benefit from support to improving their capacity to carry out their mandate. At the national level, the main project beneficiaries are Ministry of Local Governments (MATCL) and the Ministry of Housing, Land Management and Urban Planning (MLAFU), and the statistical and planning units (CPS) covering the two targeted ministries.

The project Component 1, Performance-Based and Capacity Support Grants for Secondary Cities, will support the municipalities of Kayes (West), Sikasso (South), Ségou and Mopti (Centre) to improve their management capabilities and accountability through two sub-components: Performance-based investment grant and Capacity support grant.

The Component 2 on Priority Infrastructure Investment, Institutional Restructuring, and Capacity Support Grants for Bamako, will support the District of Bamako (Capital city) to address acute flooding problems and improve its management capabilities and accountability through three sub-components: Phased grant for roads and drainage rehabilitation,  Capacity support grant, and Institutional restructuring grant for the consolidation of the District of Bamako and its six communes into an institutionally more effective single metropolitan authority.

The third Component, Institutional Capacity Strengthening will provide support to central ministries and agencies (especially MLAFU and MATCL) in fulfilling their respective roles in support of urban development in a context of decentralized management of local resources and basic services delivery to the population through three sub-components: (A) Capacity building for project municipalities, (B) Support to central government agencies in fulfilling specific functions contributing to project objectives, and (C) Support to targeted strategic studies, including assistance in developing a strategy for restructuring and implementing the institutional arrangements for managing the greater Bamako metropolitan region.

Component 4: Project management, monitoring and evaluation will finance management of the project and reporting on overall project progress.

Media Contacts
In Bamako
Moussa Diarra
Tel : (+223) 20 70 22 00
In Washington
Aby Toure
Tel : + 1 (202) 473 8302