28 October 2014, News Wires – The World Bank is to pour millions of dollars into helping finance a planned oil pipeline to exploit discoveries in the Horn of Africa region.
The funds are just part of an $8 billion financial assistance package pledged by the bank and other global financial institutions to improve the region’s business prospects and socio-economic conditions.
A joint trip by the World Bank, European Union, African Development Bank, African Union Commission, Islamic Development Bank and the Intergovernmental Agency for Development to the area this week laid out a road path to economic improvement in the region’s countries.
The World Bank has itself pledged $1.8 billion to boost economic growth, reduce poverty and spur business activity in the eight countries in the region, including the major oil producers of Sudan and South Sudan. Emerging hydrocarbons nations Uganda and Kenya are also included, as are Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Djibouti.
The World Bank’s private sector arm, International Finance Corporation (IFC), will provide $600 million, some of which will go towards funding the pipeline linking Uganda and Kenya. The pipeline has been planned for some time, with the Kenyan coastal town of Lamu to host export facilities.
“A new World Bank Group paper forecasts that the Horn will undergo dramatic and lasting change when oil production starts in Kenya, Uganda, and possibly Somalia and Ethiopia,” the bank said in a statement.
The EU will provide some $3.7 billion in funding up to 2020, with the African Development Bank chipping in $1.8 billion and the Islamic Development Bank pledging up to $1 billion to its four member countries of Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti and Uganda.
United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, said in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Monday: “The countries of the Horn of Africa are making important yet unheralded progress in economic growth and political stability. Now is a crucial moment to support those efforts, end the cycles of conflict and poverty, and move from fragility to sustainability.
“The United Nations is joining with other global and regional leaders to ensure a coherent and coordinated approach towards peace, security and development in the Horn of Africa.”