Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gov’t secures $15.9 Million loan for building infrastructures in rural areas





The government of The Gambia has signed a loan agreement, amounting to ID (Islamic Dinar) 10.57 million, which is equivalent to US$15,860,000 or GMD 453.87 million  with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) for financing of The Gambia Community Based Infrastructure and Livelihood Improvement Project.
The loan agreement, which was sourced from Waqf Fund of Islamic Development Bank Group, was signed in Jeddah, kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on the 25th November 2010, by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Abdou Kolley on behalf of The Gambia Government, and Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, President of IDB Group, on behalf of IDB.
The loan attracts an interest of 2.5% maximum, commitment fee of 0.5% and it is to be paid within a period of twenty five (25) years including seven (7) years grace period.
“The Gambia Community Based Infrastructure and Livelihood Improvement Project will provide required community based infrastructures to meet ever growing demand due to population growth and increased agricultural productivity also to mitigate disaster related losses caused by heavy rains,” said the Minister of Finance while tabling the loan agreement for ratification at the National Assembly in Banjul on Monday 13th December 2010.
Hon. Kolley told the parliamentarians that the project aims to support the government’s strategy for alleviating poverty in rural and peri-urban zones through targeted assistance for economic infrastructures and livelihood activities in a more enabling environment using the Community Driven Development (CDD) approach.
He said the project would help alleviate poverty and its consequences by increasing social and economic opportunities of the beneficiaries by improving access to basic social and economic infrastructure, increasing the social capital of the communities to organize collectively to meet their own needs, fostering local governance and citizenship through creation of self-managed project-related structures for the beneficiary communities, and supporting and expanding the role of existing local government councils and relevant technical departments in integrating policies and complementary programs and projects at the local level.
The Finance Minister explained that the project is expected to be implemented within a period of four years.  The executing agency, he added, is the Ministry of Local Government and Lands through GAMWORKS, which has over 15 years of experience in donor-financed project implementation.
He told the National Assembly Members that The Gambia Community Based Infrastructure and Livelihood Improvement Project is accompanied with a grant component to compliment the loan resources for an amount not exceeding US$ 400, 000.
“The grant resources shall be used solely to cover the cost of the consultant experts, capacity building and institutional development for GAMWORKS and focal points of local communities and chain support for microfinance operators in the country,” he elucidated.
The loan attracts an interest of 2.5% maximum, commitment fee of 0.5% and it is to be paid within a period of twenty five (25) years including seven (7) years grace period.
National Assembly Members unanimously ratified the loan agreement after some period of debate and recommendations.

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