The Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) focuses on improving roads in the UEMOA region.
Photo: Shutterstock/Marcus Stevens
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With its «Programme de Coopération Transfrontalière Locale», Switzerland is supporting area planning across borders. In the border region between Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire, investments are now underway into urgently required infrastructure.

Many borders between West African states were drawn randomly by the colonial powers. They are still perceived as an obstacle by the people living there today. The borders restrict free movements of persons and goods and impede regional integration. This is also having a negative impact on the regions’ economic development. 

Therefore, the «Programme de Coopération Transfrontalière Locale» (PCTL), which is supported by Switzerland, is promoting regional, cross-border integration in cooperation with the  Economic Community of West African States (UEMOA). To this end, in an initial step, a 165,000 square kilometre region with more than 7.5 million inhabitants that is situated between Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire was analysed in terms of agriculture, education and training, and healthcare services. The result is that the considerable economic potential of this region, with its capitals Abidjan, Bamako and Ouagadougou, has so far only been made limited use of. 

Focusing on improved roads 

One important reason is the poor state the roads are in.

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