The FINANCIAL — The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today two International Development Association (IDA) credits of $100 to support reform priorities for trade facilitation and transport modernization in Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire. Each country will receive $50 million.
The Regional Trade Facilitation and Competitiveness credit (RTFCC2) is the second in a series of two development policy operations. It aims at reducing trade transaction costs along the Abidjan-Ouagadougou corridor by supporting key reform programs in the transport and customs sectors of the two countries. The project helps both countries modernize their trade and transport environment while encouraging private sector development and facilitating their integration with the regional and global economies, according to the World Bank.
High trade and transport costs are a major concern in West Africa, and even by African and regional standards, the main corridor between Abidjan and Ouagadougou is expensive. “Reducing transport prices is not only important to facilitate trade, but it also has direct poverty reducing impacts by promoting better regional integration and improved access to basic goods and services,” says Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire.
Reforms supported by RTFCC2 will not only help lower transport prices but they also create more efficient logistics services for the movement of food staples to enhance food security by preventing the loss of crops during transport, while helping strengthen the competitiveness of traditional exports such as cattle from landlocked countries in the Sahel. They also support the development of local businesses in the two countries by linking them better to regional and global markets that will lead to the creation of more jobs.
Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire have initiated an ambitious trade and transport reform agenda over the last few years. This effort has been supported by the World Bank through its first ever regional budget support operation, with the first Regional Trade Facilitation and Competitiveness credit approved by the Bank’s Board in June 2015. This RTFCC2 will deepen the reform process through the professionalization, formalization and modernization of the trucking industry and market. It also aims to enhance the competitiveness of maritime and inland gateways while improving customs clearances, and facilitating transit.
“The nature of the challenges faced in the trade and transport sector in Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire requires a regional approach,” said Jacques Morisset, World Bank Task Team Leader for the project. “And the RTFCC2 will provide a platform for joint actions and ensure that they are implemented simultaneously for the mutual benefit of both countries,” Jean-Christophe Maur, co-Task Team Leader added.