The African Development Bank announced
it will raise the $15.6 billion needed to finance a 1,081-kilometer West African highway that will connect Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, and Lagos, Nigeria.
The road will facilitate transport links between major ports and the most populous centers of the West African Gulf of Guinea, including cities such as Abidjan, Secondi-Takoradi, Accra, Cotonou, and Lagos.
The combined GDP of the five countries through which the highway passes is about $600 billion and the population is nearly 300 million. The Abidjan-Lagos coast is also the area where about 75% of West Africa's commercial activity is concentrated.
It is planned that West African countries will enter into agreements that will facilitate cross-border trade and transit, creating new markets, industrial parks and logistics centers along the highway. The highway will also play an important role in unblocking the region's landlocked countries, especially Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali.
The highway is part
of a much larger project, the Dakar-Abidjan-Lagos highway. This cross-border coastal highway will connect 14 West African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.