At the Ivorian-Malian border, work on the road corridor between Côte d'Ivoire and Mali is nearing completion. But even before its completion, the infrastructure is already providing relief to transporters and local populations in both countries.
The Bamako-San Pedro corridor, for which work was launched in 2015 with completion scheduled for June 2021, was financed to the tune of US$233 million by the African Development Bank, including US$198 million from its concessional loan window, the African Development Fund.
The project is part of the implementation of the Road Development and Transport Facilitation Programme on the Bamako-Zantiebougou-Boundiali-San Pedro Corridor.
Work on the Zantiébougou-Ivorian border (140 km) on the Mali side has been completed and provisionally delivered. On the Ivory Coast side, the works on the Kani-Fadjadougou section (lot 1) are completed and those on lot 2 (Fadiadougou-Boundiali section) are 86% complete. The two lots represent a distance of 135 km.
According to a report on the state of implementation and results (EER) published by the Bank on 27 October last, the impact of the project is already being felt by the beneficiary populations with regard to the volume of traffic on the completed or ongoing roads.
Travel times, which were six hours in 2014 on each of the sections going from Zantiébougou to the Ivory Coast border and from Boundiali to Kani, were reduced to between 1 hour 40 minutes and 2 hours last May. This represents a total gain of 3.6 million dollars per year for transporters.
According to the report, the processing time for container traffic at the port of San-Pedro, in Côte d'Ivoire, will be reduced to three days compared to 10 days in 2014, once the interconnection of customs computer systems, the establishment of a one-stop port window at the port of San-Pedro and an electronic tracking system for goods and vehicles along this corridor have been materialized.
Moreover, the time taken for a goods truck to cross the border between Côte d'Ivoire and Mali should be reduced from a whole day to about three hours only, after the construction of the single border checkpoint.
As for the operating cost of three-axle vehicles, it has been halved from $1.8 per kilometre in 2014 to almost 90 cents. The rural access index in the project's intervention zone is close to 60% in 2020, half of which concerns women, compared to 25% in 2015. This index measures the proportion of the rural population within two kilometres of an all-season road.
By the end of the project, four centres and six multifunctional platforms dedicated to women will be built. In addition, five schools, five health centres and two bus stations will be renovated as well as five local markets and a border livestock market will be built.
The project also includes the construction of twenty boreholes (ten per country), 100% managed by women. Ten solar lighting systems will be installed, ten processing tool kits and intermediate means of transport for agricultural products will be provided to the population, 80% of which will be women.
Twenty tricycles and four ambulances for transporting sick and pregnant women will be delivered to ten health centres. Finally, around 200 kilometres of rural tracks will be rehabilitated in various localities on both sides of the two countries.
"At the end of the works, the project will notably enable an increase in the volume of trade crossing the land borders between Côte d'Ivoire and Mali from 59,200 tonnes to 392,400 tonnes, i.e. a growth rate of 34%," concludes the African Development Bank report.