The West German Government has agreed to loan a further forty million marks (about 22 million U.
The West German Government has agreed to loan a further forty million marks (about 22 million U.S. dollars) to help finance the huge Senegal river project being undertaken jointly by Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. This support is in addition to one hundred and forty-six million marks (about 80 million U.S. dollars) already pledged to the project -- which is also being financed by France, several Arab countries and two development funds.
SYNOPSIS: The President of Mali -- General Moussa Traore -- and President Leopold Senghor of Senegal went to Bonn to finalise arrangements for the new loan. They met West German President Walter Scheel on Monday (31 October). Together with Mauritanian Planning and Mines Minister, Mohamed Ould Zamel, they also held talks with West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. The river project includes a dam which will help irrigate a large area of drought-striken land in the Sahel.
Later Presidents Traore and Senghor gave a news conference, where maps and models of the river project were on view.
According to the London "Financial Times" newspaper, the Senegal River Basin project is intended to make the waterway itself navigable as far upstream as Kayes in Mali, giving the landlocked state enormously improved access to the Atlantic. The irrigation scheme will go a long way towards making Mali, Senegal and Mauritania self-sufficient in food and a third element in the project is hydro-electric power. This will be used to exploit iron ore and bauxite deposits in the three countries as well as to facilitate other industrial projects.