The Gambia: ADB commits grants of $20.56M to further upgrade Banjul port
The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional window of the African Development Bank Group on Thursday approved grants worth $20.56 million to finance the fourth expansion of Banjul Port in The Gambia, ADB announced in a statement.
The funding comprises an ADF grant of $13.71 million and another $6.85 million grant from the Transition Support Facility window. The project will also receive a $450,000 grant from the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme (AAAP) a joint initiative of the African Development Bank and the Global Centre on Adaptation, for technical assistance to mainstream climate resilience into the expansion. AAAP will use cutting-edge climate analytics to identify and quantify the impacts of physical climate risk on the port infrastructure and provide adaptation investment options to climate-proof it.
“The expansion will be financed in parallel with a private investor who will be selected competitively by the Gambian government. The World Bank and the African Development Bank supported the Banjul Port’s previous expansions,” the statement said.
It added: “The fourth expansion program entails an extension of the port jetty by 345 meters to accommodate up to three ships simultaneously instead of one currently. It also provides for the expansion of the container terminal area by 22,000 m2 to create space for unloading ships, replacement of a non-functioning ferry plying the Banjul and Bara crossing and widening port access roads by 3km to ease congestion. Information and communication processing systems will also be procured for efficient linkages between customs and the terminal operating system.”
According to the statement, upgrading the port will significantly reduce ship turnaround time and cut costly congestion and surcharges, enabling reductions in sea freight costs and demurrage payments.
“The works will boost the facility’s capacity to meet growing traffic and improve efficiency in operations and management as it digitizes its procedures. The introduction of green and low-carbon emission ferries will make the port infrastructure more climate-friendly and climate-resilient. The project is also expected to empower women’s groups through gender-sensitive procurement and provide jobs, especially for the youth,” it said.
At the end of November 2022, the Bank Group had 12 active operations in The Gambia, valued at $166.6 million. Eighty percent (80%) of these are financed through its ADF window. The transport sector represents 55.6% of the portfolio, the largest share, followed by agriculture and rural development with 24%. Energy sector projects constitute 12% of the portfolio, concluded the statement.