World Bank pledges $1.2 billion to East Africa - CNBC Africa

World Bank pledges $1.2 billion to East Africa

East Africa

by Elayne Wangalwa 0

The World Bank also vowed to support infrastructure development in the EAC. PHOTO: Karle Town Centre

The financier also vowed to support infrastructure development and to boost the competitiveness in the East African Community (EAC) by providing additional resources for regional infrastructure in the next three to seven years.

“We are partnering with the EAC governments, other development partners and the private sector to invest in regional infrastructure and to help deepen policy integration and reduce barriers to trade in the EAC," said Philippe Dongier, World Bank country director for Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda.

"We are preparing investments to revive the region’s inland waterways on Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika, and to enhance the capacity and efficiency of the two main EAC ports on the Indian ocean - Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Mombasa in Kenya.” 

The funds will also be used to invest in particular transport links to enhance the connection of landlocked countries Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan to the Northern and Central corridors. This will improve access to the ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam as well.

(READ MORE: EAC advocates equal trade playing field)

In conjunction with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the bank said it will focus on reforms and policies crucial to the development of regional integration through enhanced efficiency of infrastructure investment and financing.

Oumar Seydi, IFC director for Eastern and Southern Africa, said, “Working with private sector partners, IFC is already investing more than 1.0 billion dollars annually in sub-Saharan African infrastructure to spur economic growth and improve living standards."

"IFC intends to do more to support ports, power, rail, transport and other key infrastructure projects in the East African Community in the years ahead,” he added.

The bank is already supporting the EAC’s regional integration agenda with investments of 2.3 million US dollars in 17 regional projects in roads, railways, energy, information and communications technologies, finance and trade, among others.