The World Bank has announced finance deals to the value of $495 million spanning rural electrification, education, road access and climate-resilient infrastructure projects in Senegal. The west African nation, with a population of 17.5 million, was hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, border closures and further restrictions impacting tourism- responsible for 10% of the country’s GDP- while simultaneously delaying major oil and gas developments by up to eighteen months. As a result, Senegal’s GDP growth was cut by two-thirds in 2020 but has subsequently rebounded to its pre-pandemic levels and with new developments, is expected to double in the next two years.
The World Bank’s latest funding package comes at a pivotal moment for Senegal, giving the government opportunity to address lingering inequities in key areas. These include access to electricity where $150 million has been pledged towards the Energy Access Scale Up Project (PADAES) via the International Development Association. This will allow an estimated 200,000 households to be connected to the power grid, benefitting 1.5 million people. Additionally, 700 small and medium-sized enterprises, 200 schools and 600 health centers are set to benefit from electrification under the scheme and as part of Senegal’s national goal of universal access to electricity by 2025. Currently, Senegal’s access to electricity rate stands at 78.6% – one of the highest rates in Africa – but the distribution of this at over 90% for cities and close to 50% for rural areas reveals a crucial disparity which the World Bank seeks to remedy.
In addition to the $150 million devoted to PADAES, $100 million is being channeled for improvements in the quality of education, again with a focus on rural and remote communities, benefitting 600,000 students. Meanwhile, $200 million is being set aside for improved transport infrastructure- specifically road links between rural food producing areas in the northern and central regions of the country and key markets elsewhere. And finally, $45 million is planned for economic development and construction of climate resilient infrastructure in the rural Casamance region in southern Senegal.
According to the World Bank, agriculture is the largest driver of economic growth in Senegal while the services industry is the biggest contributor to GDP. Thanks to the freshly announced funding package, both these sectors can benefit, addressing the inequities in access to power, employment and economic growth faced by rural communities.
MSGBC Oil, Gas & POWER 2022
Under the patronage of H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power will once again take place in Dakar, Senegal, with the event serving as a catalyst for investment and multi-sector development in 2022. To find out more visit msgbcoilgasandpower.com or contact email@example.com.