- Two Eritrean government projects yesterday received financing, totalling US$ 60 million. The World Bank has approves a loan to support an education sector investment and a grant for an emergency reconstruction programme in Eritrea.
According to a World Bank press release, the Eritrea Education Sector Investment Project (EESIP) - that obtained a US$ 45 million loan - is to help "increase equitable enrolment, especially among girls and neglected groups and poor districts children."
It was further said to "improve the quality of education at basic and secondary levels, as well as strengthen the Ministry of Education's capacity to deliver education services."
The programme also was to finance the establishment of a Teacher Training and Development Unit that would help improve the quality of teachers in service while developing a master plan for teacher recruitment, training, deployment and utilisation.
About 88,000 children are to be enrolled under the program and get an opportunity for a more effective and relevant basic education. "These children will be taught by better qualified teachers, they will experience a new and modern curriculum, have more books and instructional materials and a better chance to acquire skills they can use in the labour market," said Paud Murphy of the World Bank.
The second programme to be financed - with a US$ 15 million grant - the Emergency Reconstruction Supplemental Project (ERSP), was said to "address the negative impact of the drought and prevent reversal of achievements made under the existing Emergency Reconstruction Project, approved by the Bank in November 2000."
This supplemental grant was made to help maintain the Eritrean government's development expenditures and build the resource base of poorer rural households. Funds would also be made available to "help communities regain their assets and increase incomes lost as a result of the drought."
- Mitigation of the losses associated with the drought is most appropriately financed by a grant, said Florian Fichtl of the World Bank. "Use of a credit in these circumstances would negatively affect the country's growth prospects," he added, explaining why the grant had been given.
According to the World Bank release, the combined use of seeds and fertilizer, along with other complementary inputs, "will increase production," while the rehabilitation of access roads and the maintenance of dams "will allow delivery of water to the needy and enhance irrigation capacity of rural communities."
Recurrent drought is common in Eritrea due to its relatively low rainfall and arid climatic zones, and activities under the grant was to focus primarily on those zones most affected by drought.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.