WASHINGTON, December 12, 2019- The World Bank approved a $100 million International Development Association (IDA)* Development Policy Financing (DPF) today. This financing aims to support Benin Government’s efforts to strengthen fiscal and debt management, improve the financial sustainability of the energy sector and to foster the development of the digital economy.
This Development Policy Financing is the first of two operations designed to support the government’s efforts in promoting faster and sustainable growth in the period 2019-2021. The program will support reforms aimed at strengthening tax revenue mobilization and administration and improving debt management. Reforms will also raise the performance and competitiveness of the state utility company SBEE, promote renewable sources of energy, and support the development of digital infrastructure and affordable broadband access through regulation and competition.
“With this financing, Benin is expected to address critical bottlenecks to help sustain high and inclusive growth, create more and better jobs, and encourage entrepreneurship particularly amongst women and youth” said Atou Seck, World Bank Country Manager for Benin. He added that the World Bank support will also contribute to improving the business environment and attract private sector investment in Benin.
These reforms, once fully implemented, will increase Government revenues to finance its development agenda and improve access to affordable and quality energy and digital services.
The new Development Policy Financing is closely aligned with Benin’s Government Action Plan (GAP) 2016-21 aimed at consolidating democracy and governance, promoting the structural transformation of the economy, and improving the living conditions of the population. It also builds on the Bank’s Country Partnership Framework, as well as the Mobilizing Finance for Development and Digital Economy for Africa (DE4A) global initiatives.
This operation is part of World Bank Group’s financing support to Benin through 19 projects with a total commitment of $1.15 billion covering multiple sectors. The strategy for Benin is governed by the Country Partnership Framework (CPF) 2018-2023 focused on structural transformation for competitiveness and productivity, investing in human capital and increasing resilience and reducing climate-related vulnerability.
*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 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $21 billion over the last three years, with about 61 percent going to Africa.