AFRICA – The OPEC Fund for International Development is providing two loans totalling US$45 million to help increase the supply of potable water and boost food security in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).
The OPEC Fund has also signed a US$20 million public sector loan agreement with Senegal to co-finance a project that will boost food security and incomes for around 300,000 people, with a strong focus on women and youth.
For DR Congo, a US$30 million loan will support the Ozone Water Supply Project to provide around 1.4 million people in western Kinshasa with clean drinking water. The project is expected to attract more investment into the area, create jobs and strengthen the local economy. The World Bank is a co-financier.
The other US$15 million loan will finance the North Kivu Agriculture Sector Support Project to improve food security and incomes for more than 170,000 people.
The OPEC Fund’s contribution will help rehabilitate more than 300 km of rural roads to open up access to marketplaces and reduce transport costs. The International Fund for Agricultural Development is also financing the project.
“This latest funding supports DR Congo’s development aspirations that include achieving food self-sufficiency, modernizing rural infrastructure and providing country-wide access to a clean water supply,” Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, Director-General, OPEC Fund said.
“All the work we are financing aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals. We look forward to working with our partners in the near future to finance other economic sectors deemed a priority by the government.”
The DR Congo government is co-funding both projects.
In Senegal, the project will construct agricultural production and marketing infrastructure, including rural roads to improve the management of natural resources and environmental monitoring in Senegal.
Around 28,000 new rural jobs will be created: 30 percent of which will be for women and 40 percent for youths.
“All the work we are financing aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals. We look forward to working with our partners in the near future to finance other economic sectors deemed a priority by the government.”Director-General, OPEC Fund – Alkhalifa
Co-financiers include the African Development Bank (AfDB), the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the Africa Growing Together Fund, a facility sponsored by the People’s Bank of China and administered by the AfDB.
“Agriculture is a key driver of economic growth in Senegal and continues to be an important source of employment for much of the rural population,” Abdulhamid said.
“This project helps agricultural communities to reach their full potential by providing better access to infrastructure and rural entrepreneurship opportunities, particularly for under-served groups such as women and youth. We are very pleased to be working with our development partners to bring this project to life in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The OPEC Fund and Senegal have been development partners for nearly 45 years. The organization has provided public sector financing totaling more than US$243 million (including the present loan) to help support the country’s agriculture, education, health, industry, transportation, and water and sanitation.
To date, the OPEC Fund has approved more than US$100 million in public sector lending to the country.
Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE