Burkina Faso Banks on New Road Projects to Open the Country Up to Foreign and Domestic Investment

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Burkina Faso is banking on as many as 15 road projects that the nation’s President believes will open the country up to foreign and domestic investment.

Marc Roch Christian Kaboré, President of the Republic of Burkina Faso, who was elected in November 2015 and inaugurated the following month, has assessed the results of his government after two and a half years of his five-year term at the head of the country.

His government has assured stakeholders that major infrastructure projects seeking to open up the country and unlock its economic potential are moving forward.

“With 1,240 kilometers of rural tracks already improved, the presidential programme, which aims at achieving 5,000 kilometers of rural tracks in isolated production areas, is going well,” Kaboré’s office said in a statement issued this week.

Of the 15 road projects to which the Head of State is committed to completing by the end of his term, a total of 2,042 km are to be tarred, while more than 32% are under construction or in the start-up phase. In addition, a railway line between Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso is being rehabilitated, and a new road between Ghana and Burkina Faso should be open by 2020.

This comes after President Kaboré was able to impose a policy that broke with the old regime by developing a new societal project that aims to establish a rule of law in Burkina Faso through institutional reform and the construction of citizenship and to proceed with the economic and social transformation of the country.

His presidential programme is set out in the National Plan for Economic and Social Development (PNDES) adopted in 2016 and is structured around three priorities: state reforms, human capital and the development of economic growth sectors. In these three major projects, the Head of State has set himself priority objectives in all key sectors by putting in place emergency measures to boost growth, initiate socio-economic change and lay the foundations for new governance.

His office says these commitments have resulted in significant progress in all areas. Burkina Faso is doing better economically than two years ago.

“We must congratulate ourselves because, despite a difficult context marked by insecurity and social discontent, Burkina Faso has an economic growth rate of 6.7%,” President Kaboré said during his national television interview on the mid-term review.

President Kaboré’s vision maintains that only a structural transformation of the economy will truly fight poverty by laying the foundations for “sustainable and prosperous development for the nation as a whole.”

The aim is, therefore, to modernise agriculture, open up the country and initiate an energy and digital revolution that will positively impact all economic and social projects, while placing human capital at the heart of development to improve the living conditions and the production ability of Burkinabé citizens.

The President stated that solar energy, dams, ongoing road and rail projects and the national internet backbone are structuring projects that serve as levers to boost growth sectors such as agriculture, particularly agricultural processing, with the Bagré growth pole’s creation of 25,000 jobs as an example.

Meanwhile, President Kaboré’s outward-looking policy and active diplomacy over the last two years has led to numerous cooperation agreements and forging of relationships with new partners such as India and China.

He has taken a strong stance in favour of the emergence of the continent and the sub-region, and is resolutely focused on strengthening regional integration and participating in the consolidation of Africa’s democratic momentum. He established a government department dedicated to the diaspora, thereby reaffirming his desire to involve Burkinabè people living abroad in the country’s current transformation.

“The new page in our glorious history will be a collective work,” President Kaboré said.




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