afrol News, 30 November - West African neighbours of Guinea-Bissau have decided to sponsor the impoverished country with an emergency power supply worth US$ 10 million. Power supply is extremely erratic in Guinea-Bissau.
This was decided by a council of ministers of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), where Guinea-Bissau is a member state. The ECOWAS contribution is to complement a World Bank grant of US$ 12 million to support the power project.
The development of the project followed a recent directive by ECOWAS heads of state to undertake a mission to Guinea-Bissau to assess the financial and technical requirements of providing power to the country's capital, Bissau.
The development aid funds for Guinea-Bissau are among the largest ever to be donated by ECOWAS, a union of countries that are all relatively poor developing countries. However, Guinea-Bissau is causing special attention among ECOWAS leaders as continued political instability in the country threatens to destabilise the region.
Decades of mismanagement and political turmoil have left infrastructure in Guinea-Bissau in ruins, hindering economic recovery. Especially power supply has reached critical levels, with power outages being the order of the day in Bissau and other towns and cities.
The donation from ECOWAS and the World Bank is to fund the first steps of an emergency power supply project that hopefully will boost electricity supplies in the small country.
The ECOWAS and World Bank funding of Guinea-Bissau's electricity sector is part of a US$ 22 million emergency funding programme aiming to lift the country out of it acute crisis. It is hoped that the programme, together with much-needed political stability, will attract investors to Guinea-Bissau and produce a turning point for the economy.
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