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PRESS RELEASEJanuary 23, 2024

Burkina Faso: Scaled-up Support for Digital Transformation

WASHINGTON, January 23, 2024 - The World Bank today approved the $150 million Digital Acceleration Project that seeks to improve access to infrastructure, public services, and digital skills in Burkina Faso.

This new operation will help expand digital connectivity and target several vulnerable populations such as internally displaced persons (IDPs) and rural communities excluded from essential public services. It will also accelerate the digital transformation of these public services, in particular those that have a strong impact on the public and involve such sectors as education, health, and social protection. Lastly, it will support the development of digital skills for the knowledge economy.

"This project will provide economic opportunities and access to public services for the population, including displaced persons. It will specifically help improve broadband access, spur growth and innovation, foster competition, and facilitate investments in the digital economy and in the education and health sectors,” said Clara Ana De Sousa, World Bank Country Director for Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, and Niger.

The Digital Acceleration Project, which is financed by the International Development Association (IDA),* is a follow-on project to the recently closed West Africa Regional Communications Infrastructure Project (WARCIP-BF) and the e-Burkina Project. It will therefore build on the achievements of these projects in order to develop the foundations that can be leveraged by other digital initiatives.

As Tounwendé Alain Sawadogo, World Bank Task Team Leader for the project, noted: Recognizing the potential of digital technology to address fragility and strengthen resilience in Burkina Faso, this key infrastructure project aims to increase access to broadband connectivity for the population, particularly in areas that are vulnerable to climate shocks and are hosting displaced persons. It also aims to develop digital public services, train public administration staff in digital skills, and provide young people with opportunities to acquire digital skills and jobs.”

*The International Development Association (IDA) is the World Bank’s fund for the poorest. Established in 1960, it provides 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 1.6 billion people. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments are constantly on the rise and have averaged $21 billion over the past three years, with about 61% going to Africa.



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