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25.05.2006 Business & Finance

EBID, EXIM Bank India sign 250-million dollar agreement


Financing of infrastructure projects within countries of the Economic Community of West African States received a major boost on Thursday, with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) and EXIM Bank of India.

The agreement for 250 million dollars, signed on the fringes of the two-day regional conclave on India-Africa Partnership, would enhance infrastructure development in the areas of Energy, Telecommunication and Transportation.

The credit line attracts 1.75 per cent interest payable in 20 years.

Mr Jacques Tokplo, Director of Communication of EBID, told the Ghana News Agency, after the signing of the framework agreement that both the public and private sectors would benefit from the financial assistance.

About 100 million dollars of the amount is to be set aside to enhance private sector contribution towards the accelerated economic development in member countries while the remaining 150 million dollars would go to the public sector.

Projects envisaged include the construction of roads, railways and improvements in telecommunication infrastructure.

Mr Tokplo said a key determinant for the bank would be to look out for projects that involved at least two or three member countries to increase the number of people who would benefit.

On telecommunication, he said, efforts would be made to digitalise the telecommunication system to enable member countries to communicate at a lower cost.

Mr Thiermo Bocar Tall, Director of Studies and Strategic Planning of EBID told the GNA that priority attention would be given to projects, which exploited alternative energy and mentioned the bio-diesel project in the country.

EBID, the principal financial institution of the Economic Community of West African States, operates through its two subsidiaries, the ECOWAS Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the ECOWAS Regional Investment Bank (ERIB).

ERDF focuses on the public sector while ERIB deals with the private and commercial sectors.