African Development Bank approves $68.7m loan to finance rehabilitation of rural infrastructure in Gabon

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has decided to finance rehabilitation of rural infrastructure in Gabon after its Board of Directors approved a loan of roughly $68.9 million for the project.

The project, whose total cost is $78.9 million, will support the Gabonese government’s effort to diversify the country’s economy and reduce its dependence on the oil sector, according to a statement from AfDB October 12, 2011.

The Rural Infrastructure Rehabilitation Support Project is located in one of Gabon’s most economically important provinces – the Woleu Ntem province – which has very high agricultural potential but where farming is constrained by inadequate infrastructure and inaccessibility to the market.

The Bank said in its Country Strategy Paper for Gabon for 2011-2015, it had identified agriculture, as a major sector for diversification – the effort will enhance food security and reduce the country’s dependence on food imports.

The loan, which will be effective by June 2012, is repayable over 20 years with a five-year grace period, the AfDB noted.

Abdirahman Beileh, the Bank’s Acting Director of Agriculture and Agro-industry, said “by supporting the rehabilitation of rural infrastructure, building roads and rehabilitating village markets, the project will improve both agricultural production as well as accessibility to markets.”

By Ekow Quandzie

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