WASHINGTON, September 25, 2012– The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a International Development Association (IDA*) grant in the amount of $US20 million to help the Government of Guinea improve management of the country’s bauxite and iron ore mining boom.
“Improving management of the iron ore and bauxite resources is vital for sustainable development of Guinea's mining sector,” said Jamal Saghir, World Bank Director for Sustainable Development in the Africa Region. “The project activities will help to not only improve the outlook for economic growth but also provide environmental and social benefits that will have a positive impact on the livelihoods of ordinary Guineans.”
Guinea has the world’s largest reserves of bauxite and iron ore deposits along with significant potential for the mining of gold, uranium, and diamonds. The project will support reforms designed to improve the efficiency and accountability of government agencies that manage the mining sector and will span the full range of mining subsectors encompassing social and environmental impacts; access to mineral resources, revenue collection, and distribution; and transparency in ways that benefit those living in mining communities and ordinary Guineans.
“Guinea’s mining sector has been stagnant and no new mine has been developed during the past ten years,” said Ousmane Diagana, the World Bank Country Director for Guinea. “The project will support development of mineral resources and create positive benefits for the economy by generating new revenue and creating and maintaining jobs.”
The project will help the Government clarify oversight roles of the state-owned mining company, SOGUIPAMI and its relationship vis-à-vis the ministries in charge of mines, finance or transport. To address the challenge of mining along country borders it will establish a new framework that encourages mining corridor development with positive impacts on regional and local areas around mining operations and their ancillary infrastructure
“I look forward to the effective implementation of this important project that will have positive national and sub-regional impacts,” said Boubacar Bocoum, Project Leader.“It will help promote mining economic inclusion and country-wide infrastructure development that will encourage effective and efficient operations of mineral deposits in Guinea; and set the stage for mining to provide a platform for sustained economic development and poverty reduction in the country.”
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing loans (called “credits”) and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 81 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $15 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.