Paris , France - The Vice-President of the World Bank's Africa Region, Mr. Makhtar Diop, on Monday urged Senegalese leaders to use resources efficiently to get value for money.
He also warned the Senegalese authorities against the trend, widely shared on the African continent, to establish "a mechanical link between a high rate of growth and the exploitation of its resources" pointing out that natural resources were by no means prerequisite for obtaining sustainable growth rate, citing the cases of Singapore and South Korea.
Mr. Diop made the statement at the opening ceremony of the Consultative Group meeting in Paris during which Senegal intends to apply for funding of 1.853 billion CFA francs earmarked for the implementation of its blueprint “Senegal Emergent” Plan.
The World Bank urged Senegal to avoid basing the hope of a sustainable growth rate on recent discoveries of gold.
He said among the comparative advantages required to achieve sustainable growth are quality human capital, political stability, strong institutions, good governance, openness to the rest of the world and a great capacity of adaptation and implementation of economic policies.
"Human capital, which has for a long time been the main resource of Senegal, must remain the foundation on which to build growth," said Diop, who also welcomed efforts made by Senegal in the education sector.
Diop said building strong and sustainable institutions and the emergence of human resources with strong capabilities should go hand-in-hand with a requirement for accountability and reduction in inequality.
He also raised the need for growth in job-creating sectors, including in the informal sector and urged the country to significantly increase the resources allocated to the agricultural sector regarded as one of the mainstays of the “Senegal emergent" plan.
Mr. Diop promised support of the World Bank Group to assist the West African country in the implementation of Public-Private Partnerships, which undoubtedly had an impact on growth.
The "Senegal emergent" plan, advocated by the Head of State, Mr. Macky Sall, before donors attending the two-day meeting of the Paris Consultative Group, includes score of projects in agriculture, education, health, infrastructure and tourism.
In the agricultural sector, Senegal intends to build a plant to desalinate seawater for drinking and irrigation, set up 100 to 150 farms producing fruits and vegetables, milk and poultry products and develop and intensify irrigated agricultural watersheds for the production of cereals such as rice, maize, millet.
On infrastructure, the city of Dakar will be served by a 35 km-long tram, while the 644 km road stretch connecting Dakar to Kidira, a border town with Mali, will be rehabilitated and two new railway lines will connect Dakar to Falémé in Mali, through the Senegalese cities of Tambacounda and Kédougou .
The Senegalese capital will be connected to the new Blaise Diagne airport located in Diass, 42 km from Dakar, while the cities of Bargny, 30 km from the capital and Kaolack, 189 km from the capital, will have an ore port and a dry port respectively.
In the field of education and training, a second university will be built in the capital as well as a higher education reference centre called Dakar International Campus while La Cité du Savoir (city of knowledge) will be built in Diamniadio, 35 km from Dakar. Besides, new university residences will be built at all campuses.
On tourism projects, tourist sites of Mbodiène, Pointe Sarène and Joal Finio stretching over 800 meters will be developed.
It plans to build a 220 hectare business city around the future Blaise Diagne Airport where multinational and regional companies will have their headquarters.
The Aristide Le Dantec hospital in Dakar, known to have the biggest potential in human resources, will be rehabilitated and a Cancer Institute will be built and equipped.