Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Senegal is satisfied with the volume of the AfDB project portfolio but appeals for faster audits

The overall situation of the portfolio of projects initiated by the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group in Senegal has greatly improved, the nation’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Amadou Bâ, announced on March 12, 2014 in Dakar. But he believed that “efforts are still needed, especially in terms of audits.”

Chairing the opening of the 10th joint annual review of the cooperation program between the AfDB and Senegal, along with the official launch of the 2013 Development Effectiveness Review for Senegal, Amadou Bâ explained that “the continued improvement in the performance of the AfDB project portfolio is an ongoing concern for the Senegalese government.”

The ultimate goal is for the Senegalese country allocation to be raised appropriately, he explained.
This ambition, however, risks being hampered by “long delays in conducting audits, which are very often the reason for the suspension of financing payments.”

Bâ therefore appealed for a concerted effort among actors in the project audit chain in order to put forward suitable solutions. He reasserted Senegal’s determination “to increase positive cooperation” with the AfDB. This cooperation began in 1972 and over four decades has developed considerably in terms of both financing and the number of projects carried out.

This cooperation has so far made it possible to transfer 913 billion CFA francs to finance about 60 projects in priority sectors such as health, education, transport infrastructure, and rural development. On February 28, 2014, the AfDB’s Senegal portfolio of public and private payments reached 374.2 million Units of Account, or nearly 274.8 billion CFA francs.

Bâ welcomed the participation of the AfDB Group at the Consultative Group meeting in Paris (February 24 and 25, 2014). This meeting involved Senegal’s main financial banks, and the AfDB Group stood out by announcing 400 million CFA francs worth of funding to contribute to the implementation of the Plan Sénégal Emergent (PSE –Senegal Emergence Plan).

The Senegalese Government aims to use the PSE to lead the country toward emergence by 2035, with an annual growth rate of 7 per cent from 2017.

The AfDB’s Resident Representative to Senegal, Mamadou Lamine N’Dongo, also welcomed the “excellent” results achieved by Senegal during the Paris meeting. He gave his assurance that the AfDB would continue to provide extensive support to Senegal. According to N’Dongo, this desire stems from the priorities of the Senegalese authorities in the PSE and the orientations of the Bank Group’s Long Term Strategy (2013-2022).

“The main challenge now is to stay on course and relentlessly pursue the progress accomplished in the management of our operations,” announced N’Dongo.

Two major actions are essential for this, he noted. These relate to the systematization of performance contracts for all projects, as well as the systematization of the implementation of an efficient follow-up and evaluation mechanism during projects. N’Dongo also highlighted the coinciding of the joint annual review of the cooperation program between the AfDB and Senegal, and the official launch of the 2013 Development Effectiveness Review for Senegal.

The Development Effectiveness Review, the first of its kind on Senegal, describes how AfDB activities have contributed to results in the country in terms of development for five years. The 54-page document was presented to a large audience that had come to hear the discussions chaired by Richard Schiere, Chief Results Officer in the AfDB’s Quality Assurance and Results Department. Schiere concentrated above all on the results achieved in Senegal in terms of development, especially in facilitating investment in the private sector.

In his presentation, Schiere revealed that Senegal is at the top in terms of developing public-private partnerships in the infrastructure sector. Publicprivate partnerships have created new financing opportunities for structural transformation needs in Senegal, the report stated. As the second publication of its kind focusing on a country and edited by the AfDB’s Quality Assurance and Results Department, the 2013 Development Effectiveness Review for Senegal shows how the AfDB has contributed to structural transformation and inclusive growth in the country. In 2012, Rwanda was the focus of the first country-specific review.

The 2013 Development Effectiveness Review for Senegal describes several of the AfDB’s innovative actions in the country. It presents the outcome of the Results Measurement Framework, which contains 71 indicators divided into four sections, each corresponding to a chapter in the document.

The first chapter describes some of the difficulties faced in Senegal in terms of development and progress made over the last few years to resolve those issues.

The second chapter presents the AfDB portfolio for Senegal and the accumulated results of operations in the past five years. The third chapter studies the state of the AfDB country portfolio, and the fourth considers the Bank’s ability to manage its own operations in Senegal.


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