Between 2012 and 2016, the African Development Bank will continue its focus on developing Benin’s agriculture and infrastructure. It does plan to hone in on an additional sector: governance.
AfDB outlined these priorities in its new strategy paper for Benin which was approved Sept. 10 by the bank’s board of members. The strategy identifies two pillars: development of production and support infrastructure, and enhancement of good governance.
Under the first pillar, AfDB plans to support the modernization of Benin’s agriculture, infrastructure and trade sector through agricultural diversification initiatives, irrigation farming activities, and the construction of farm to market roads as well as access roads to nearby countries.
On governance, the strategy identifies reforms targeting public revenue mobilization, efficient public spending and private sector development as priorities. Other themes named in the strategy are gender mainstreaming and climate change adaptation policies.
The new AfDB strategy did not specify specific target regions within Benin. It did note that the bank will focus its aid on “economically and socially-marginalized areas with high agricultural potential.”
The bank plans to fund the new strategy through loans, grants, technical assistance and budget support. The money will come from the African Development Fund, bilateral sources and from reallocated funds from previous loans.
Agriculture and infrastructure have been the top recipients of AfDB assistance over the past years. The bank has eight ongoing projects in Benin as of March 2012 and most are in these two sectors. It also has projects in the energy, water and sanitation sectors.
Benin is not among the top recipients of overseas development assistance in Africa. But it is among the top destinations of aid in West Africa. Over the past years, it received a fairly steady level of aid from members of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development: $698 million in 2010, $682 million in 2009 and $629 million in 2008.
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