The development of a highway connecting Dakar and Saint Louis will open up Senegal's northern territories, considered the country's rice breadbasket and a mining hotspot.

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has granted a loan of €166.36 million to Senegal for the development of the Dakar-Tivaouane-Saint Louis highway, which will improve access to the north of the country.

The African Development Bank contributed €119.69 million, while the People's Bank of China contributed €46.67 million through the African Joint Growth Fund.

"The Dakar-Tivaouane-Saint Louis highway construction project will open access to the northern regions, considered the breadbasket of Senegal in terms of rice cultivation, as well as an area with great mining potential." Stated Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, Acting Vice President of the African Development Bank for Regional Development and Service Delivery. "It will help implement the government's strategy of processing agricultural products, significantly reducing transportation costs."

The project involves the construction of a 200-kilometer-long, weather-resistant two-lane highway that can be converted into a three-lane highway. It will include the construction of 8 interchanges and 113 pedestrian crossings (including 82 underpasses and 31 overpasses); 50 kilometers of secondary roads and 8 kilometers of internal roads with solar street lighting in the municipalities of Mékhé, Guéoul and Kébémer; the development and/or rehabilitation of social and commercial infrastructures; and measures to protect the road from sand erosion by planting 2x2 lines of trees on both sides of the road.

It will also include the construction and/or renovation of social infrastructure, such as three health centers and/or posts, as well as the development of a health sciences research laboratory at the Gaston Berger University of Saint-Louis. Commercial infrastructure, such as three bus stops, will also be built or renovated. Photovoltaic solar energy will power all of them.

The project is mainly aimed at the regions of Dakar and Thiès, as well as the departments of Saint-Louis, Kébémer and Louga. The area has about 7 million residents (2019 data), which represents 42,76% of the country's total population.

The active portfolio of the African Development Bank Group in Senegal as of July 31, 2022 included 29 operations totaling €2.3 billion.

Source: African Development Bank Group