Social Safety Nets
In Somalia, with World Bank support, the Baxnaano program has provided a platform for the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) to play a new and continuing role in social safety net provision to households facing chronic poverty and the aggravating impacts of multiple climate-related shocks. In the first two years of implementation, more than 1 million people (about 9% of the population) received nutrition-linked unconditional cash transfers to meet basic consumption needs. Baxnaano’s built-in shock-responsive features protected food security and livelihoods of additional 600,000 people from a major 2020 locust outbreak through temporary scale up of the regular program and delivery of emergency cash transfers. By laying the foundations of the first state-led social safety net system in Somalia, which enables rapid and effective shock response and caters to the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, Baxnaano has worked to help restore citizens’ trust in state institutions and contribute to the FGS’ state-building efforts.
In Niger, The World Bank has been providing support to the government for almost 10 years for the development of an effective social protection system. The aim is to support the poorest households by providing monthly cash transfers in conjunction with other measures to strengthen human capital and develop productive activities. This program also helps households improve resilience and cope with unexpected shocks, such as those associated with climate change. The Adaptive Safety Net Project 2 “Wadata Talaka” (PFSA 2), which became effective on June 20, 2019, has directly benefited more than three million persons.
Adapting to climate change and building climate resilience
In 2020, the World Bank launched The Next Generation African Climate Business Plan (NG-ACBP), setting out an innovative blueprint to help Sub-Saharan African economies achieve low carbon, climate-resilient outcomes. Under the Plan, the Bank is channeling $22.5 billion to Sub-Saharan Africa for climate adaptation and mitigation from 2021–25. This complements the World Bank Group global Climate Action Plan, which sets a target for 35% of our financing to have climate co-benefits, on average, over the next five years and that 50% of this financing supports adaptation and resilience. The NG-ACBP also underscores the World Bank’s efforts to support a green, resilient and inclusive recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic while addressing the longer-term challenge of climate change in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In Nigeria, the Erosion and Watershed Management Project enhanced Nigeria’s capacity on the preparedness to respond to natural hazards, climate risks and natural disasters, which has led to about 2,201 hectares of the land area have been reclaimed in the immediate gully site micro-catchments as at June 2020, including reclamation and afforestation programs across northern states ; 16 States now have improved erosion risk maps, towards ensuring better-quality catchment management plans prepared for 31 sites across States. It has trained 185,000 local government officials and community members in land degradation management, soil and water conservation, catchment management planning, sustainable farming, waste management, and water harvesting. The project has also helped Nigeria’s government pioneer Green Bonds in Africa, raising $30 million in 2017 and $41 million in 2019.
In Malawi, the World Bank-financed Agricultural Commercialization Project (AGCOM) is helping markets work for smallholders who already operate commercially or are in transition to becoming commercial. A few years in, the results are promising - the benefits of investing in smallholder commercial agriculture, and the approach, known as “productive alliances”, is proving to be an effective way for smallholders to get organized and improve their productivity and sales. Part of this approach involves building and strengthening farmer organizations, allowing small-holder farmers in Malawi to seize market opportunities because as a group they are able to get more information, reduce costs, and reap the rewards that come from selling in volume. AGCOM’s productive alliances are also fostering job creation in Malawi. Opportunities for employment are crucial to buffer the impact of the looming food crisis and create opportunities for the 400,000-plus young people joining the workforce in Malawi every year. AGCOM has raised the expectations of smallholder farmers, agribusinesses, and government authorities.
Supporting inclusive governance and transforming economies
Enabling efficient and inclusive delivery of services, such as judicial courts, waste management, water, electricity, ICT and safety nets, and building strong and accountable institutions and systems that are resilient to economic, social and environmental pressures are the foundations of the Bank’s work on governance and inclusion in Africa.
The $67 million Democratic Republic of Congo Strengthening Public Financial Management (PFM) and Accountability Project has been helping to improve domestic revenue mobilization, public expenditure management, and accountability, at central level and in selected provinces. Project support for the Inspection Générale des Finances (IGF), which includes the development of risk-based audit approaches, training for more than a hundred new staff, and the acquisition of IT equipment and audit applications, has helped IGF undertake effective financial investigations that are contributing to reining in corruption and misappropriation of public resources.
Burkina Faso instituted policy reforms between 2019 and 2021 to improve agricultural productivity and expand social protection. The reforms strengthened the resilience of farmers, herders, women, as well as all those disproportionately affected by shocks related to conflict, health, and climate change developments. Reforms to reduce deforestation aimed to help decrease desertification and foster biodiversity. Additionally, the Government improved its domestic revenue mobilization and enhanced public sector accountability. These reforms had the overall goal of benefitting the population more broadly, as additional resources became available for social programs.
The Mauritania Decentralization and Productive Intermediate Cities Support Project contributes to the development of selected intermediate cities in the South and East and technical support to the decentralization process. It is financed with $66 million from the International Development Association (IDA), and support totaling $5 million from the State budget. The project directly impacts (i) the population of the cities and surrounding rural areas of Rosso, Kiffa, Selibaby, Aioun, and refugees and host communities of the M’bera Camp, Bassikounou, Nema, and Adel Bagrou will get improved access to urban services or electricity from renewable energy sources; (ii) over 140 formal enterprises and 11,000 informal and social actors will have improved access to infrastructure and services to grow their businesses; and (iii) staff and elected representatives of local institutions whose capacity will be reinforced.
Empowering women and girls to boost Sub-Saharan Africa’s human capital
The World Bank's Africa Human Capital plan sets ambitious targets to boost Sub-Saharan Africa’s human capital—the knowledge, health and resilience of its people. To support these ambitions, the World Bank is investing over $34.2 billion across 228 human development projects in the region. Since the Africa Human Capital Plan launched in 2019—of which women and girls’ empowerment is a central tenant — the World Bank has approved over $11.5 billion in investments that champion women and girls. Together with governments, regional institutions, and development partners, the World Bank has expanded multi-sectoral programs with immediate and long-term solutions that invest in women and girls.
For example, the Sahel Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Dividend Project (SWEDD) works across the Sahel to improve the availability and affordability of reproductive health services, strengthen specialized training centers for rural-based midwives, improve nursing services, and pilot and share knowledge on adolescent girls’ initiatives, increasing their agency and productivity. SWEDD has so far reached more than 2 million girls in nine countries, beyond the Sahel region, with $680 million in Bank funding.
In Angola, the Strengthening the National Social Protection System Project, known locally as the Kwenda Project, has registered nearly 600,000 households across 18 provinces to receive cash transfers, of which about 60 percent are female headed. By 2023, 1.6 million households will be beneficiaries of Kwenda cash transfers which represents all poor households in the country. This would make Kwenda one of the largest cash transfer programs in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Stepping up to support regional integration in Africa
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of regional integration as a key element of Africa’s recovery efforts to better coordinate on regional disease surveillance and response plans, keep regional trade flows open, address fragility that could spill across borders, support private sector recovery, and much more. The current Regional Integration program supported by the World Bank amounts to over $16 billion, with over 90 projects. These are helping to (i) expand infrastructure to build greater regional connectivity in the key areas of energy, digital and transport; (ii) promote trade and market integration; (iii) support human capital development, particularly in the areas of health, education and women’s empowerment; and to (iv) reinforce resilience by helping to address climate-change related challenges and other cross-border risks and vulnerabilities caused by conflicts and insecurity. The World Bank Group is committed to scale up its partnership and support to strengthen regional cooperation and integration in Africa towards the Agenda 2063 and its flagship projects such as the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, digital and energy integration, and trade facilitation.
Expanding Access to Electricity and Digital Technology
Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy is essential to the development of Africa’s infrastructure ecosystem that includes sustainable transport systems and a robust digital economy. The World Bank is working to help safeguard Africa’s progress in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting efforts that will expand and accelerate electrification in Eastern and Southern Africa and help their economies transition to low-carbon green economies that leave no one behind. For example, in Rwanda we have supported long-term, programmatic approaches throughout the last decade that has helped the country adopt an integrated electrification approach that allowed it to scale up rapidly both grid and off-grid electrification, and in both cases develop targeted interventions to make sure that electricity services are affordable for the poor, whether households are on- or off-grid.
The digital revolution is a historic opportunity for Africa to leapfrog into the fast-growing $11.5 trillion global digital economy, and bypass traditional economic stages. In fragile contexts, digital technology solutions can help deliver services to the poor when more traditional methods cannot, e.g., mobile money vs. more traditional solutions. It can help advance the creation of digital IDs and the “Identification for Development (ID4D)” which is also as a key accelerator for human capital. We are supporting the African Union’s goals to help countries transition to a digital economy, with a focus on skills, entrepreneurship, infrastructure, platforms, and financial services.
Energy access remains a challenge in Africa where one in three people are still without access to electricity. To address this challenge, the Bank is helping to increase access to affordable reliable and sustainable energy across Africa. Operations support grid extension and expansion of transmission networks, innovative off-grid electrification solutions, expansions of renewable generation capacity, development of regional power pools, and improvement of service efficiency.
This year, the Rwanda Energy Access and Quality Improvement Project (EAQIP) will enhance the availability and efficiency of low-cost renewable energy and expand grid connections for residential, commercial, industrial, and public sector consumers. The project includes the World Bank’s largest clean cooking operation in Africa, and the first project co-financed by the recently launched Clean Cooking Fund (CCF), hosted by the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP).
The Ghana eTransform project supports digital entrepreneurship program through three tech hubs—the Ghana Tech Lab, the Ghana Innovation Hub in Accra, and the Kumasi Business Incubator in Kumasi. To date, they have helped boost entrepreneurial skills for over 11,000 young people. In total, 49 startups have been formed, and more than 1,200 businesses have been supported through access to workspace, mentoring and training. They also help individuals and teams with business ideas progress from the concept stage to entering the market. The project is inclusive. The Ghana Tech Lab alone has trained more than 5,400 youth in digital skills—half of whom are female.
Last Updated: Sep 12, 2022