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TMCNet:  AfDB Board Approves $105.26 Million for Lovua-Tshikapa Section of the Batshamba-Tshikapa Road Project in DRC

[December 11, 2013]

AfDB Board Approves $105.26 Million for Lovua-Tshikapa Section of the Batshamba-Tshikapa Road Project in DRC

(African Press Organization (APO) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) TUNIS, Tunisia, December 11, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (http://www.afdb.org) approved on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 in Tunis, two grants and a loan amounting to US $105.26 million (UA 70.14 million*) to finance the Lovua-Tshikapa section of the Batshamba-Tshikapa road project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/african-development-bank-2.png The project aims at opening up the country's Bandundu and West Kasaï Provinces with a view to improving the service level of the transport logistics chain on the Kinshasa-Tshikapa road as well as the living conditions of people in these areas.

It involves the development of a 56-kilometre portion of the Batshamba-Tshikapa road between Lovua and Tshikapa on the National Road 1 (NR1), including the construction of a new bridge over the Kasaï River which crosses Tshikapa town.

The project supplements previous Bank interventions on the same road such as the Nsele-Lufimi (93+850 km) and Kwango-Kenge (70+34 km) stretches completed in 2011 with a UA 52.45-million grant; and the Loange and Lovua (63 km) roads financed by an ADF grant of UA 53.55 million approved in 2012. The entire road covers 433 km towards Mbuji-Mayi and beyond Tshikapa. Thus, the Bank's involvement in the current project will help to strengthen its previous and ongoing operations on the road axis and extend its support to other key provinces in the country (Bandundu, West and East Kasaï).

It is consistent with the pillars of the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (GPRSP) 2011-2015 of the Democratic Republic of Congo, whose main thrusts include the improvement of access to basic social services. The project aligns with the DRC's transport policies framework whose action plan is considered as a reference framework for the country's 2002-2015 transport sector reforms. The plan proposes massive transport infrastructure investments and the consolidation of sustainable development with three key pillars: (i) rehabilitation of old asphalted roads and the construction of new ones; (ii) traffic restoration by re-opening the earth-roads network; and (iii) protection and maintenance of roads in good state of repair.

The project is consistent with the Bank's new Country Strategy (2013-1017) for the DRC, which builds on two pillars: (i) Development of Private Investment, Rural Integration and Support Infrastructure; and (ii) Building Central Government's Capacity to Increase Public Revenue and Create an Enabling Framework for Private Investment. The project is aligned to the Regional Integration Strategy (RISP 2011-2015), also built on two pillars: (i) Regional Infrastructure Development; and (ii) Institutional and Human Capacity Building.

Aligned to the key objectives of the Bank's Ten Year Strategy (2013-2022), namely, inclusive growth and gradual transition to green growth, the project also fits with its accompanying operational priorities, including infrastructure development, private sector development, governance and accountability, skills and technology, gender, fragile States, agriculture and food security.

It is noteworthy that the project is in line with the interventions of the Bank and other donors (European Union and World Bank) as part of the gradual development of NR1. Actually, the Bank, through a grant of UA 52.45 million, financed the rehabilitation of the road sections between Nsele-Lufimi (93.85 km) and Kwango-Kenge (70.34 km). Similar works between Loange and Lovua (63 km) also benefited from an ADF grant of UA 53.55 million, approved in 2012.

The population of the project's target area is estimated at 1,750,000, including 892,000 women representing nearly 51 per cent of the population. It comprises the urban centre of Tshikapa and four major villages (Mukala, Katanga, Kayateshia and Kabunlongo). The planned road is the nearest motorway of national importance to which it can be connected.

The main direct beneficiaries of the project are: (i) people living the project areas; (ii) road transporters through the provision of adequate infrastructure and substantial reduction of vehicle operating expenses; (iii) the extractive industries sector for transportation of inputs and evacuation of products; and (iv) the Congolese State. The other project beneficiaries are businesses and other service providers involved in the project's implementation and monitoring.

Scheduled to be implemented from December 2013 to December 2018, the project will be jointly co-financed by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) (UA 55.56 million) and African Development Fund (ADF) as lead donor with UA 13.92 million. The contributions of DFID and ADF represent 79.97 per cent and 20.03 per cent, respectively, of the project's total cost estimated at UA 69.48 million. DFID resources will be managed and disbursed through the Fragile States Facility (FSF), pursuant to Bank Rules and Procedures. Both institutions will sign a specific agreement defining the terms of the co-financing.

The total cost of the project, net of taxes and customs duty, is estimated at UA 69.48 million, equivalent to US $105.26 million. The project is jointly financed by: (i) the ADF to the tune of UA 13.98 million through a loan of UA 0.66 million, derived from a cancellation, and a grant of UA 13.92 million, of which UA 0.28 million is derived from a cancellation; and (ii) DFID, to the tune of EUR 63.61 million, equivalent to UA 55.56 million, to be disbursed through the Fragile States Facility (FSF). The contributions of ADF and DFID represent 20.03 per cent and 79.97 per cent, respectively, of the total project cost. This cost includes compensations owed project-affected persons, borne exclusively by ADF resources.

* As of 10 December 2013, 1 UA (Unit of Account) = 1.53521 United States Dollars (USD) Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

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