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HomeDiplomacyChinese-backed AIIB seeks to boost Ivory Coast’s trade links to Asia

Chinese-backed AIIB seeks to boost Ivory Coast’s trade links to Asia


Chinese-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seeks to boost Ivory Coast’s trade links to Asia with road upgrade scheme

The project to upgrade 7,000km of roads will help link the agricultural north of the country with major export hubs, including the port of AbidjanOfficials at the investment bank say it is looking to ‘expand collaboration in Africa’ with projects in more countries in the pipelineBelt and Road InitiativeJevans NyabiagePublished: 2:00pm, 2 Oct, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

The Chinese-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is financing a major project to upgrade thousands of kilometres of roads in the northern Ivory Coast in hope of opening up the predominantly agricultural region to trade with Asia.

The region is a major producer of cotton and cashew nuts but the poor quality of the roads means that it is difficult to transport the goods to major processing centres and trade hubs, including the country’s largest city, the coastal port of Abidjan.

The US$571 million project will see improvements to 7,000km (4,350 miles) of unpaved roads in 11 regions and will also help maintain a further 15,000km of rural roads. The AIIB is advancing US$200 million while the World Bank will contribute US$300 million, with the rest coming from the Ivorian government.

A major road benefiting from the funding is the 238km Dianra-Bouandougou-Bouaké route, which is seen as crucial for opening up the Béré region – the main agricultural production area of the 11 regions – and for connecting northern Ivory Coast to the town of Bouaké.

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