(Ecofin Agency) - The World Bank announced an investment of $470 million to accelerate the development of the Lomé-Ouagadougou-Niamey road corridor.
The grant, decided by the World Bank’s Board last July 15, will be provided by the International Development Association (IDA) to improve the quality of transport and transit services along this 1,065 km corridor, which links the three capitals of Togo, Burkina Faso, and Niger. The ultimate objective is to develop trade and reduce transport time for goods imported and exported via the port of Lomé and between the three countries.
This is a major and vital axis that accounts for 28% of Niger's GDP and 7% of its population, 40% of Burkina Faso's GDP and 21% of its population, and 72% of Togo's GDP and 65% of its population.
“The LON corridor is of strategic importance to Burkina Faso, Niger, and Togo, and we are dedicated to supporting the countries to unleash its economic potential,” said Anne-Cecile Souhaid, Senior Transport Specialist at the World Bank, and Task Team Leader for the project.
“This project facilitates regional cooperation by combining support for transport and trade networks with institutional reforms and logistics services to collectively address the challenges shared by the participating countries.”
The scope of the project also includes assistance in improving customs procedures, the transport data management system, and the professionalization of transport actors. A social component is also planned with the rehabilitation of health centers, schools, and related infrastructure.
Once the project is completed, the financial institution estimates that, in addition to improving road safety, freight travel time from the port of Lomé to Niamey will be reduced by 25%, and border truck traffic between Togo and Burkina Faso will be reduced by 62% and by 54% between Burkina Faso and Niger. More importantly, this project will also generate strong and inclusive growth in local communities, addressing gender disparities and benefiting millions of people. It is expected that the percentage of women among certified professionals in the trucking and logistics industry will increase from 0 to 15%.