KHARTOUM: An Arab League development bank on Wednesday signed low-interest loans with four African nations to improve transport infrastructure, village development and finance for young people.
The loans from the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) total 26.1 million dollars for Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Chad.
Benin, the largest recipient, will receive $10.4 million for financing of a bridge over the Mono river, helping to improve commercial traffic with neighboring Togo and contributing to wider African integration, officials said.
Another $6 million will support the Jacqueville bridge project in Ivory Coast.
"This region of Cote d’Ivoire needs development to reduce poverty," said Tanoh Boutchoue Bernard, the country’s ambassador to Egypt and Sudan.
BADEA is lending $8.2 million to Chad for a village development project, while $1.5 million will finance a line of credit to support young entrepreneurs in Burkina Faso.
The project will create 1,000 micro-enterprises and 2,000 jobs, said Lene Segbo, of the country’s Ministry of Economy and Finance.
"As you know, it’s a challenge today for all governments to create jobs for young people and women," he said after signing the loan documents with Abdelaziz Khelef, the Khartoum-based bank’s director general.
Founded by the Arab League in the 1970s, the bank operates as an independent institution to promote economic and technical cooperation between Arab and African nations.