African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional lending arm of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, is to give loans and grants totaling 167.8 million Units of Account (UA), about US$263.76 million, to Kenya, Madagascar and the Gambia.
A statement from the AfDB received in Accra said the Board of Directors of AfDB approved the loans and grants in Tunis on Wednesday November 21st.
The statement said Kenya would receive 156.9 million UA in loans and grants to finance the Nairobi-Thika highway improvement project as well for support services to the boards of its water services. (1 UA = 1.57188 USD)
It said the loan of 117.85 million UA and grant of 3.15 million UA would be used to finance the entire foreign currency and part of the local currency costs of the Nairobi-Thika highway improvement project aimed at improving road transport services along the corridor and enhance urban mobility within the metropolitan area by reducing traffic congestion.
It said the road would contribute to the development of a sustainable urban public transit system for the Nairobi Metropolitan Area as well as promote private sector participation in the management, operation, and financing of road infrastructure in Kenya.
“The overall goal of the project is to improve the accessibility, affordability, and reliability of the transport infrastructure in order to promote economic growth and socio-economic development in Kenya as well as contribute to regional integration in the eastern and Horn of Africa regions,” the AfDB said.
The statement said 35.19 million UA, approved for the Water Services Board Support Project, would address the capacity problems of Kenya’s water boards as well as water service providers so that they can better cope with demand.
“It will also support the implantation of water supply and sanitation programs, the development of monitoring and evaluation capacity, systems and tools, implementation of water tariff studies to support water pricing policies, and address the development of good governance in the water sector.”
The statement said the Kenya Water Services Boards Support Project would receive an additional 10.07 million UA grant from the Bank Groups Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Trust Fund when approved by the Board of the AfDB.
This project, which is also receiving support from other development bodies, will address some of the water and sanitation infrastructure problems at Kibera, a sprawling informal settlement outside Nairobi. The settlement is one of the largest in Africa with a population estimated at over 500,000.
Madagascar, for its part, would receive a loan of 9.202 million UA and a grant 298,000 UA to finance the rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure in the Manombo area in the south west of the country.
The statement said the goal of the project was to help reduce rural poverty by improving agricultural production through rehabilitation of infrastructure and support services to farmers and their organisations.
The Gambia, for its part, would receive a grant of 1.4 million UA to finance the country’s Institutional Support Project for Economic and Financial Governance.
“The grant will help strengthen macroeconomic management and improve capacities in key public institutions engaged in economic management and governance, with a view to helping reduce poverty,” it said.