African Development Bank Commits to East Africa’s Structural Transformation and Regional Integration

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has reaffirmed its commitment to accelerating structural transformation, enhancing resilience, and fostering job creation in East Africa through its recently approved East Africa Regional Integration Strategy Paper (EA RISP) for the period 2023-2027. The strategy paper, endorsed by the Bank’s Board of Directors in May 2023, outlines two key priority areas to achieve its overarching goal. namely : (1) Improve regional infrastructure; and (2) Support regional value chains development and trade facilitation.

Under the first priority area, the Bank will invest in cross-border electricity interconnections to strengthen connectivity and increase cross-border trade in electricity. It will also support regional solar energy development through the Desert to Power initiative as well as hydroelectric and geothermal energy to harness the region’s endowments. Strengthening the capacity of the East African Power Pool and regional electricity infrastructure initiatives such as the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program and Energy in the Great Lakes countries will also be areas of focus. Investment in the regional electricity trade should enable East African cross-border electricity interconnections to increase from 7 to 9, and for the regional power pool to become operational. It will also support cross-regional power pools interconnectors such as the one between Eastern and Southern Africa Power Pools.

The AfDB will also commit financial resources to multimodal transport systems for roads, railways, air transport and inland waterways while continuing to strengthen transport management institutions’ capacity and regional corridors. Particular emphasis will be placed on the main corridors and feeder roads that link production centres to major markets and promote intra- and inter-regional connectivity.

Through these strategic interventions, the AfDB seeks to drive East Africa’s structural transformation, foster regional integration, and unlock the region’s economic potential. By investing in critical infrastructure and supporting the development of renewable energy sources, the Bank aims to create an enabling environment for sustainable development, job creation, and increased economic opportunities in East Africa.

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