Bridging Progress: African Development Bank powers The Gambia’s leap into the future

Bridging Progress: African Development Bank powers The Gambia’s leap into the future

Bridging Progress: African Development Bank powers The Gambia’s leap into the future
Bridging Progress: African Development Bank powers The Gambia’s leap into the future

African Development Bank Group (AfDB)

The African Development Bank’s (www.AfDB.org) investments in The Gambia’s energy sector have significantly improved access to affordable and reliable electricity, with at least 70% of Gambians projected to have power by the end of 2024 (50% in rural areas), according to a recent Bank country progress report. Notable projects include an interconnection with Senegal, which provides 50 megawatts of power to augment the Gambia’s bulk supply system.

The report,  approved by the Bank Group’s Board on 13 June 2024, reflects results obtained halfway through the execution of the Bank’s 2021-2025 Country Strategy Paper (CSP) (http://apo-opa.co/4euFNNh) for the Gambia. It highlights remarkable achievements in the country’s energy, agriculture, and transport sectors.

The Bank’s assistance to the agricultural sector has boosted productivity, increased production and attracted private investment. Rice yields have risen from 2.2 to 4 tonnes per hectare thanks to the implementation of the Bank’s flagship Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) (http://apo-opa.co/3RF7Q2J) initiative and the Rice Value Chain Transformation Program (RVCP) (http://apo-opa.co/4cw6LSR). Yields of maize, groundnut, cowpea and sorghum also improved during the first period of CSP implementation. Enhanced irrigation on 4,369 hectares increased rice production by 27,828 tonnes, and support for local seed producers has ensured sustainable supplies of seeds.

In the transport sector, the Trans-Gambia Bridge and its ancillary road network link major routes and destinations, promoting the efficient movement of goods and people, supporting trade, raising incomes and improving livelihoods throughout West Africa. The bridge construction has reduced transport costs along the trans-Gambia corridor by cutting journey times previously held up by ferry crossings. Passenger and freight transport costs are expected to fall by between 50 and 100% compared to costs before the investment in the bridge, and annual journeys by households to educational and health establishments are expected to double.

Dr. Joseph Ribeiro, the Bank’s Deputy-Director General for West Africa, said the interventions aim to help The Gambia lay the foundations for socio-economic transformation. “The AfDB has increased its support for economic diversification and resilience in the Gambia, taking into account the country’s long-term development priorities and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and targeting factors of fragility,” he stated.

As of 31 March 2024, the African Development Bank had 17 active projects in The Gambia valued at $252.1 million. These projects are public operations financed mainly by grants. The transport sector accounted for the largest share of funding (51.2%), followed by agriculture and rural development (21%), energy (17.5%), water and sanitation (7.7%), governance (2.6%), and the social sector (2.6%).

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).