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Mali, AfDB Join Forces To Accelerate Implementation Of Anti-poverty Projects

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The government of Mali and the African Development Bank (AfDB), have agreed to accelerate ongoing country projects that aim to reduce poverty.

This is coming at the heels of a high-level AfDB mission to the West African nation, which ended on 16th September.

A delegation of the 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.

Notably, the feedback from the review was then conveyed to civil society, development partners, and the private sector to further the discussions.

AfDB’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 percent, the rate of portfolio disbursement is 36.6 percent and the average age of projects is 5.53 years. It is, therefore, an ageing portfolio that needs to be streamlined”.

Ribeiro noted that 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 the country 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”, he said.

Mali’s Minister of the Economy and Finance, Alousséni Sanou expressed his optimism about the outcome of the talks, adding that the prospects are very bright.

“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”, he added.

Sanou,, who is also the AfDB’s Governor for Mali also noted that 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”, he stressed.

He 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, according to him, is to reduce the rate of flagged financing instruments to less than 45 percent during the next six months.

Similarly, AfDB’s Country Manager for Mali, Adalbert Nshimyumuremyi said the level of commitment of the 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 AfDB for more than four decades.

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

As at the 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 percent), agriculture (19 percent), energy (13 percent), water and sanitation (11 percent), finance (7 percent), governance (6 percent), and social (5 percent) sectors.

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