AfDB to accelerate roll-out of country projects in Mali to tackle poverty

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The government of Mali and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have agreed to accelerate ongoing country projects that aim to reduce poverty, following a high-level Bank Group mission, which ended on 16 September 2022.

A delegation of Bank staff and the Malian government met over one week to jointly review the performance of the entire active country portfolio of projects and programmes. Feedback from the review was then conveyed to civil society, development partners, and the private sector to further the discussions.

Of the assessment, the Bank’s Deputy Managing Director for West Africa, Joseph Martial Ribeiro, who led the mission, said “The rate of financing instruments in red alert is 83.8%, the rate of portfolio disbursement is 36.6% and the average age of projects is 5.53 years. It is, therefore, an ageing portfolio that needs to be streamlined.”

The COVID-19 pandemic and the multifaceted crises facing Mali, including political , social and economic challenges have hampered the implementation of the Bank’s projects in Mali in 2022. To address this, the mission advocated bold reforms, including faster procurement processes and compensation for those affected by projects. “We must act decisively and diligently to quickly turn the performance of the portfolio around,” said Ribeiro.

Mali’s Minister of the Economy and Finance, Alousséni Sanou, said, “I note with satisfaction that at the end of deliberations, a complete diagnosis was made, which identifies and analyses the constraints and major difficulties that plague the performance of the Bank’s portfolio in Mali.”  Sanou is also the African Development Bank’s Governor for Mali.

“It is more than necessary for each party to make practical and appropriate arrangements for the proper implementation of the proposed recommendations. This will allow us to streamline the portfolio as much as possible in order to achieve the development objectives for the benefit of our populations,” the minister added.

Sanou also announced that monitoring for project and programme management units would be strengthened, in addition to procedures to ensure the effective and personal involvement of all stakeholders. The aim is to reduce the rate of flagged financing instruments to less than 45% during the next six months.

“The level of commitment of the African Development Bank Group, both in terms of the volume of its portfolio and the strategic nature of its areas of focus, illustrates the solidity of the partnership ties between Mali and the Bank Group for more than four decades,” said the African Development Bank Group’s Country Manager for Mali, Adalbert Nshimyumuremyi.

Since 1975, when the Bank began operations in Mali, 112 operations have been approved with a cumulative value of €1.83 billion.

As at end of August 2022, the Bank Group’s active portfolio in Mali comprised 21 operations with a value of €640 million. The projects cover the transport (39%), agriculture (19%), energy (13%), water and sanitation (11%), finance (7%), governance (6%), and social (5%) sectors.

Source: www.afdb.org

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