To address Guinea-Bissau’s development challenges, the African Development Bank’s new strategy will promote economic diversification, structural transformation and lay the foundation for inclusive, resilient, and sustainable growth through support for infrastructure and good governance. The African Development Bank Group and Guinea-Bissau mutually adopted this approach in the Country Strategy Paper 2022-2026, published on 20 September 2022.
The objective of the Country Strategy Paper is to support Guinea-Bissau in building the necessary infrastructure to transform agricultural goods, promoting entrepreneurial initiatives for job creation, improving governance and targeting fragility drivers.
The Bank Group will target three sectors: energy, transport and financial governance, to support the government’s debt sustainability efforts.
In the energy sector, the strategy will strengthen the distribution network to improve access to electricity for most of the population. The Bank will continue implementing the Bissau City Power Supply Improvement Project. It is also expected to conclude the preparation study of the Saltinho hydroelectric plant.
The expected results in the energy sector are: installing 500 solar street lamps, reducing energy loss, finalizing the 225-kV western backbone interconnection line in the Gambia basin, and developing renewable energy. This will enable Guinea-Bissau to increase the contribution of renewable energy to its total supply mix from 0 to 36%. The access rate to electricity in Bissau (capital) should reach 50% by the end of the new country strategy in 2026 – compared to 20%.
The Bank also commits to supporting the development of Guinea-Bissau’s transport infrastructure to improve regional integration and facilitate access to essential services. Several cross-border and rural roads will be built to ease problems related to logistics and value chain development. In addition to the construction of 100 kilometers of newly paved roads, another 500 kilometers of paved roads will be rehabilitated. These will help reduce food imports from 247.6 million tonnes in 2022 to 222.8 million tonnes in 2026.
The Bank will support public policy reforms and financial administration, particularly in the civil service. This is a top priority for the government, as it seeks to create a transparent budgetary environment conducive to attracting critical investments. These reforms are expected to raise the tax revenue to GDP ratio from 8.2% in 2022 to 10% in 2026 and to lower the expenditure from 16.9% of GDP in 2022 to 15% in 2026.
“Cross-cutting themes will be integrated into the Guinea-Bissau Country Strategy Paper,” said Joseph Ribeiro, Deputy Director-General for West Africa and African Development Bank Country Manager for Guinea-Bissau. “For example, the project to support the empowerment and financial inclusion of women and youth in the cashew, fruit and vegetable sectors will enhance the professionalization of 100 women’s cooperatives and micro and small enterprises,” he added.
A financing mechanism will also be established to increase women’s access to credit.