The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved on December 10, 2015 an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loan of US$100 million to assist the government of Gabon in advancing its infrastructure and local development agenda.
The second phase of the Infrastructure and Local Development Project aims to improve access to urban infrastructure and services in selected underserviced neighborhoods and to build basic capacities for municipal management in targeted cities.
This project is a continuation of the Local Infrastructure Development Project (LIDP I). It builds on and improves the predecessor project's concept. The participatory approach initiated under LIDP I, which helped improve transparency of urban investments and promote better lines of accountability between municipalities and local populations, will be maintained and reinforced in the new project.
"This project is expected to deliver significant social benefits by improving the living conditions of the low-income communities and contribute to reduce urban poverty. One example is the reallocation of public funds to more direct and targeted interventions for the poor" says Sylvie Dossou, Country Manager for Gabon. "Other actions such as helping generate temporary employment opportunities in labor-intensive public works will benefit local resident in the selected poor neighborhoods." Dossou added.
The Infrastructure and Local Development Project will cover three new provincial capitals (Makokou, Koulamoutou and Tchibanga) in addition to the previous six cities targeted by LIDP I (Libreville, Port-Gentil, Franceville, Oyem, Lambaréné and Mouila). This corresponds to the nine regional capitals of Gabon, ensuring equitable repartition of investments throughout the country.
"Through this project the residents from the specific underserviced neighborhoods will see the issues of access to basic services addressed. It will also help strengthen the capacity of the municipality administration." says Mahine Diop, Sr. Municipal Engineer.
In addition to all that, the local construction sector, especially SMEs, will benefit from training, contract opportunities which will contribute to revitalize the local job market.