WASHINGTON, May 4, 2017— The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a $18 million credit to help the Togolese government improve the efficiency of trade logistics services in the country.
The new Trade and Logistics Services Competitiveness Project (TLSCP) will introduce clear criteria for professionalizing the road transport and logistics services sector and will support trade facilitation reforms that will reduce port dwell time and transit time. Togo has improved its logistics performance significantly in recent years, but the country need to achieve further improvements along the sector’s value chain. Most specifically, the TLSCP will improve the legal and regulatory framework for the transport and logistics sector and will provide capacity building opportunities for the actors in logistics and for delivering trainings in several services functions. Focus will also be on modernizing trucks, through the introduction of leasing as a financial instrument to support their renewal.
“Togo’s economy is open to international trade and, given its geographic location and port infrastructures, the country is well positioned in terms of access to regional and international markets and has a comparative advantage to serve as a transport and logistics hub in the sub-region,” said Pierre Laporte, the World Bank Country Director for Togo.
Improving trade facilitation is another aspect covered by the new project to help Togo implement the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement in order to achieve higher-quality trade logistics services, further improve customs processing services to compliant traders and logistics services providers, promote stakeholders’ dialogue and improve governance.
Many public and private stakeholders in the trade and logistics community will benefit from the new operation. These include, inter alia, government agencies, transport companies, truck drivers and other logistics services professionals. The project also reduces indirect costs borne by society at large from pollution, destruction of road infrastructure, and accidents. The transport sector is heavily dominated by male actors, but the project has broader indirect benefits to women who will gain from lower transport costs and better access to markets, given their active participation in the consumer goods and agricultural trade in fruits and vegetables for urban consumption.
The newly-approved project is consistent with the national and regional programs on transport and trade facilitation. It also aligned with the World Bank twin goals of poverty reduction and shared prosperity, by offering to reduce the cost of trade logistics, which in turn improves firms’ competitiveness and contributes to reduce the cost and increase the accessibility in the logistics sector.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans 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 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $19 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.