The World Bank will increase its support to Senegal’s efforts to improve governance and economic growth with a US$55 million IDA* credit approved by the Board of Executive Directors on Thursday. The Governance and Growth Support Credit (GGSC) aims to strengthen governance, particularly in government accountability and public sector performance, and promote economic growth through private sector development.
“Senegal is facing the enormous challenges of accelerating growth and employment, and improving service delivery, underpinned by improved governance and better resilience to shocks. Accordingly, these are the pillars of the World Bank Groups country partnership strategy in line with the SNDES (National strategy for economic and social development) and supported by this new financing agreement,” said Vera Songwe, the World Bank Country Director for Senegal. “While some progress has been made more effort is needed in the areas of energy, social protection and the business climate in particular if Senegal is to achieve 6 percent growth and create enough jobs for its youth. Ms. Songwe added.
According to Mamadou Ndione, Senior Economist and Task Team Leader for the World Bank, this first budget support – the first of 3 annual credits — will target particularly governance, and the education, health and energy sectors. “This credit will support the implementation of the SNDES by improving accountability and transparency in public sector management, and generating savings in university education, hospitals and the energy sector to be reallocated to more pro-poor programs within these sectors and elsewhere, M. Ndione said.
The credit will also support greater efficiency in basic education and better management and governance to improve electricity service delivery.
A generalization of asset declaration by holders of public office, a reduction of the delay in the publication of reports of the Court of Auditors, and an improvement in the credibility of university and basic education budgets are some expected outcomes of the GGSC. The level of debt of the national electricity company (SENELEC), the efficiency of hospitals, and the amount of subsidies in the energy sector will also be monitored.
Immediately after its approval by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors, the financing agreement was signed in Dakar by Ms. Songwe and Mr. Amadou Kane, Senegalese Minister of Economy and Finance, in order to release the full funding before the end of the current year.
During the signing, Ms. Songwe congratulated the Government of Senegal on behalf of Miria Pigato, World Bank Sector Manager of Poverty Reduction and Economic Management for francophone West Africa, on the positive signals on Governance and also encouraged the Government to accelerate the implementation of reforms in the coming years.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing loans (called “credits”) and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 81 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $15 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.