Togo: The World Bank Adopts a New Interim Strategy Note to Support the Country’s Poverty Reduction Efforts

January 26, 2012

WASHINGTON, January 26, 2012 – The Board of Executive Directors of The World Bank Group has adopted this day a second Interim Strategy Note (ISN-2) for Togo. The new strategy presents the framework for Bank’s interventions in Togo during the period from 2012 to 2013. All proposed actions in the new ISN are aimed to deepen and expand upon ongoing operations, and are organized around three main pillars.
Pillar One— Deepening economic recovery and promoting sustainable development. The main objective of this pillar of the ISN is to help government implement its vision of transforming Togo into a commercial, financial and services hub, and its commitment to address the structural weaknesses that constrain its growth potential and competitiveness. In this sense, the Bank will continue to provide support aimed at deepening and accelerating the economic recovery process and promoting sustainable development. Specific operations supporting this pillar are intended to (i) improving the business and investment climate, (ii) increasing agricultural productivity and crop output, and (iii) improving access to quality and productive infrastructure. They include the ongoing Private Sector Development Support Project, the Private Sector Revitalization Project, the Financial Sector and Governance Project, the multi-donors Agricultural Sector Support Project, the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Project, the Emergency Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Energy Project, and the Abidjan-Lagos Trade and Transport Facilitation Project. Future operations proposed under this pillar include the West Africa Regional Communications Infrastructure Program and a second Additional financial financing for the Emergency Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Energy Project.
Pillar Two— Improving economic governance and State capacity. Under this pillar, the Bank will continue efforts to support government-owned reforms to improve governance, transparency and efficiency in public financial management as well as advance structural reforms aimed at strengthening key sectors of the national economy, such as phosphates, cotton and energy. Key outcomes expected by this pillar include the strengthening of state capacity and management of key public enterprises and banks, an improved and transparent public financial management, and an enhanced procurement system and external budget controls. To that end, the Bank will continue to provide budget supports, in addition to existing operations (such as agriculture project, financial sector project, etc.), to help improve the cotton and phosphates sectors. Budget support operations will also help deepen policy reforms to improve public financial management system and align it with the new regulations issued by the WAEMU Commission. Thirdly, budget supports will serve to effectively implement the procurement code so as to improve transparency and efficiency of the system in line with the WAEMU procurement guidelines and international good practices.
Pillar Three— Addressing urgent poverty reduction and social needs. The third pillar of the ISN-2 will support government’s poverty reduction efforts by improving (a) communities’ access to basic social and local development services; (b) quality and access to basic education and health services; (c) social protection and inclusion; and (d) management of the environment and natural disasters. Specific operations here include the ongoing: Community Development Project, for which a second phase is currently under preparation to pursue actions already initiated, focus on youth employment and pilot a cash transfer program aimed at increasing the resilience of the poorest; the Private Sector Revitalization Project which has been restructured to pilot youth employment programs that could be scaled up in the future; the Education and Institutional Strengthening Project; the Emergency Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Energy Project which will expand its drainage activities; and the Integrated Disaster and Land Management Project. For the health sector, a Health Sector Country Status Report will provide government with adequate information for better targeting its investments in the health sector and facilitate the identification of further investments from donors.
The ISN-2 is in line with the World Bank Strategy for the Africa Region, and is totally aligned with the key objectives of government’s poverty reduction strategy. It has been developed on the basis of lessons learnt from its predecessor, the ISN-1, and has been guided mainly by (i) the principle of selectivity with a focus on results, and (ii) by the results of a Client Survey and consultations conducted in 2011 which highlighted priority areas for Bank support.
Madani M. Tall, the World Bank Country Director for Togo, indicates the areas of focus of the ISN-2: “Investment projects will have a key role as well as budget support operations which will be firmly embedded within a broader effort by the international community. We will therefore strengthen our partnerships with other donors to better support the country’s key development sectors”. He remains confident that the ISN-2 will help achieve satisfactory results as was the case with its predecessor, the ISN-1.

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