African Development Bank (AfDB) says it has secured $15.6 billion for the construction of the Lagos-Abidjan highway corridor to ease transportation across West Africa.
Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB, disclosed this on Thursday during the 2021 Africa Investment Forum virtual boardroom closing session.
In April 2020, the Bank had approved funding of $13.67 billion for the Lagos-Abidjan highway corridor project.
The road corridor links cities across five West African countries, namely Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria.
Adesina said the project would go a long way to support trade in West Africa and reduce transport costs and increase intra-regional trade volume.
“The biggest deal for the boardroom is the $15.6bn deal for the Lagos-Abidjan highway corridor. The 46-lane highway corridor will connect Lagos, Cotonou, Lome, Accra, and Abidjan,” he said.
“It will support 75 percent of the trade in the West African region. The project will impact the lives of over 500 million people. It would reduce transport costs by 48 percent. It would increase intra-regional trade volume by 15 to 25 percent. It would connect land-locked cities to port countries.”
The AfDB president further added that the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) has been critical in supporting women’s businesses.
He explained that in 2021, the AfDB provided $450 million in support of women’s businesses in Africa, and in 2022, the Bank expects to provide $500 million in support of women-owned businesses.
“The AfDB will also be establishing a $1m AFAWA women advisory facility to support women with advisory services,” he added.