Senegal: AfDB to finance Dakar train project with US$193 million

Dakar, Senegal (PANA) - The African Development Bank (AfDB) has voted US$193 million (about CFAF 120 billion) to finance the Dakar Regional Express Train (TER) project, aimed at facilitating movements within the most populated and productive area of ​​Senegal.

According to the AfDB media channel, the 36-km-long railway line will connect the heart of Dakar to the new and growing city of Diamniadio and some 113,000 passengers are expected to travel on it every day by 2019.

It said that in Dakar, 80% of the 13 million daily trips are made on foot due to the lack of efficient and cheap public transport.

Dakar and its suburbs nevertheless have nearly a quarter of the population of Senegal and contribute to more than half of the national GDP. In this ever-expanding conurbation, the future regional express train will play an essential role, facilitating the daily life of the inhabitants, enabling them to travel smoothly to their work and access to the working areas, to unclog the road network.

"The project should unleash the growth potential of Dakar and its region," said Mohamed Ali Ismaël, a transport economist with the AfDB.

He said since it must be linked to other existing or future modes of transport, such as the Transit Rapid Transit (BRT) project, it will effectively serve the suburbs.

The new TER will run on the "Little Commuter Train" route, an aging line that is no longer able to meet the growing demand. In addition to installing new electrified tracks, the project includes the acquisition of around 15 modern oars, the reconstruction of 11 stations and the renovation of the stations of Dakar and Rufisque, classified as historic monuments.

AfDB sources said once the project is completed, the journey between these two stations should take only 45 minutes, compared to nearly two hours it takes today.

The TER will also serve Damniadio's digital technology fleet under construction, a project for which the Bank had contributed in 2015. The line is expected to be extended to the new Blaise Diagne International Airport - Funded in 2010 - through which several million passengers should transit each year.

"With this project, the Bank is helping to change the face of the Dakar agglomeration by encouraging the adoption of efficient, non-polluting modes of transport that are accessible to as many people as possible. The project will help improve people's living conditions, but also industrialization, two pillars of the Bank's strategy, "said Amadou Oumarou, director of the Department of Infrastructure, Cities and Sustainable Development at the ADB.

In total, the Dakar TER has a budget of US$914 million, which includes the respective contributions of the AfDB, the Islamic Development Bank, the French Development Agency, the French Treasury and the Government Senegalese.

In addition to the transport component, part of this amount will be used to reinforce the social infrastructures of the communities through which the rail line will pass: 15 sports centers, 10 women's homes and 10 "toddlers' huts" will be built and equipped.

On the economic level, support will be provided to 20 youth associations and 30 women's associations, which will benefit from training programmess and who will be given equipment for the processing of fishery products and fruit but also for market gardening, handicrafts and sewing.

The construction of seven markets is also included in the budget, including a large modern market at Camp Thiaroye.

Faced with the challenges posed by the rapid urbanization of the continent, the AfDB is allocating an increasing share of its funding to urban areas - US$500 million for urban transport in 2016.

In Senegal, the "Promoville" project, which was approved by the AfDB on 27 March 2017, is in line with that of the regional express train: making African cities more livable, improving people's daily lives and making them competitive for companies.
-0- PANA VAO/MA 22June2017

22 june 2017 10:01:06

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