West African Development Bank to finance $5.9bln of projects in 2021-2025

The projects will focus on sectors including agriculture, food security, renewable energy and infrastructure

  

DAKAR- The West African Development Bank will finance projects worth over 5 billion euros ($5.9 billion) in the period from 2021 to 2025 in the eight-nation monetary union, the bank's president Serge Ekue said on Wednesday.

The projects will focus on sectors including agriculture, food security, renewable energy and infrastructure, Ekue told an online news conference, adding that a quarter of the financing will go to private sector projects.

Ekue said the development arm of the West African Economic and Monetary Union was in strategic discussions with its main shareholders to double its capital to 2,310 billion CFA ($4.2 billion) and add new shareholders.

He said the bank - which serves Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo - and its main shareholders, including the regional central bank, will strengthen the position of its second tier shareholders.

That will include opening more of the bank's capital to them, and giving them more say in decision-making. The category 'B' shareholders include France, Belgium, the European Investment Bank, and China.

Ekue, who joined the development bank six months ago from Natixis Corporate and Investment Banking, said the West African Development Bank was looking at the possibility of creating a third category of shareholders, open mostly likely to long-term private investors.

($1 = 0.8530 euros) ($1 = 554.7500 CFA francs)

(Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Catherine Evans and Jan Harvey) ((bate.felix@thomsonreuters.com; +33 1 49 49 55 70 Twitter: @BateFelix;))

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