WASHINGTON, January 18, 2017— The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a $20 million credit to Burkina Faso. This financing, which will support the e-Burkina Project, is fully aligned with the digital priorities of the National Plan for Economic and Social Development (PNDES). It will help modernize government services, enhance the quality of human resources, and ultimately foster the country’s economic development.
“Information and communication technologies (ICTs) can serve as a major catalyst and a promising sector for the country’s development,” said Cheick Kanté, World Bank Country Manager for Burkina Faso. “They could help improve education and health and promote rural growth by developing and rolling out e-services. They will also foster the expansion of a vibrant local digital industry.”
Over the past three years, the National Agency for ICT Promotion (ANPTIC), the Ministry responsible for the Development of the Digital Economy and Postal Services (MDENP), as well as other ministries such as the Ministries of Finance, Education, and Agriculture have joined forces to set up a statistical database through the Burkina Open Data Initiative (BODI). This novel digital initiative has received several international prizes and brought together many and varied actors, in particular young people.
“For this type of e-government project to succeed, all government entities must coalesce around a common vision and pool their ICT resources to build the digital infrastructure of the future,” said Samia Melhem, World Bank Task Team Leader for the project.
“We are cognizant of the need to tackle the main problems hindering the ICT sector, and it is with this goal in mind that the Government of Burkina Faso is now implementing the World Bank-financed West Africa Regional Communications Infrastructure Project (BF-WARCIP),” said Axel Rifon Pérez, World Bank co-Task Team Leader for the project.
The BF-WARCIP seeks to provide international connectivity in Burkina Faso via a fiber optic network between the Ghana and Ouagadougou border and create an internet exchange point (IXP) and a virtual landing point to provide cheaper, more reliable connectivity to users.