>@Anne-Cécile Auguin/EIB
©Anne-Cécile Auguin/EIB

On the occasion of the European Development Days under the patronage of H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, Mr Amadou BA, Minister for the Economy, Finance and the Senegal Plan, and Mr Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), signed a finance contract worth EUR 22m in support of the new Pont de Rosso bridge over the Senegal river. Located on a key regional artery, the Pont de Rosso bridge will complete one of the missing links of the trans-African corridor and boost economic activity along the Tangier-Lagos and Algiers-Dakar corridors.

“The EIB is very proud to finance this project, which illustrates the priority we are giving to sustainable development”, said Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle during the signing ceremony. “Once completed, the Pont de Rosso bridge will contribute to the development of transport activity along trans-African corridors. It will improve people’s living conditions and integration whilst creating new job opportunities for young people.”

This large-scale project will have a major economic and social impact. The Pont de Rosso bridge will help cut the cost and duration of transport. It will improve the mobility of people and goods between Mauritania and Senegal whilst contributing to the economic development of both countries by enhancing transport infrastructure, increasing competitiveness and sharing economic growth.

Once the bridge opens, the whole region is expected to experience a spurt in commercial activity, especially as the construction of the bridge will be supplemented by the development of more than 60 km of rural tracks, facilitating access to agricultural areas. This is a leading rice-producing region and the sector's performance represents a major food security challenge. The local population's living conditions will be improved thanks to the implementation of specific initiatives such as the development of education and health facilities (rehabilitation of schools and creation of local health centres), the installation of sewerage networks and drinking water supply systems in the twin towns of Rosso, and the construction and fitting out of social centres for women and young people seeking reintegration opportunities.

The EIB has contributed financing and its technical, environmental and financial expertise to this project alongside the AfDB and the European Union (EU).

The EU bank has been a key partner of Senegal since 1966 and places special emphasis on financing priority sectors such as transport, water, energy and agriculture, as illustrated by the major projects financed in 2016 worth a total of EUR 190m. The EIB’s exposure to projects financed under the Cotonou Agreements across the African continent is currently EUR 21.5bn, of which EUR 7.8bn in sub-Saharan Africa.