CONTINENTS SUCH AS ASIA AND AFRICA ALSO HAVE SEVERAL AVENUES OF ECONOMIC SUPPORT AND TECHNICAL ADVICE TO PROMOTE SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND ECONOMIC GROWTH. AS IN OTHER AREAS OF THE WORLD, TRANSPORT IS ONE OF THE STRATEGIC AREAS OF ACTION.
Social and economic developments in Asia and Africa in recent years are the result of joint action by governments, entities and other stakeholders.
In these plans for the growth and implementation of projects that improve citizens’ quality of life, there is the support of several financial institutions such as Asian and African Development Banks, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (ADB)
The Asian Development Bank (ADB), based in Manila (Philippines) focuses its areas of financial activity on the economic development of Asia and the Pacific. It was created in 1966 and consists of 68 members, Spain being one of its donors, 49 of which belong to the region.
The main objective of its work is the eradication of poverty. To this end, it provides various types of aid in the form of donations, loans and capital to governments and private companies, as well as technical assistance. One of its priorities is to help governments create new infrastructures that promote “inclusive” and environmentally sustainable economic growth.
In the area of railway transport, it has cooperated for the commissioning of numerous metros such as those of Jaipur, Mumbai, Hanoi, Bangalore and Chennai, as well as light rails such as the Astana.
They have also signed loan agreements in investment programmes in the railway sector in india, to improve passenger and freight services on some of their most important routes.
This support has been extended to other countries. For example, with loans for a new line from the city of Malolos and Clark International Airport in the Philippines; as well as aid for the modernization of commercial operations and the efficiency of the Sri Lanka Railways company, by investing in its infrastructure and improving its technical capacity.
Other outstanding support include funding in China for the construction of the network linking the northwestern province of Gansu and the southwestern municipality of Chongqing, or the promotion of the mega Transasian Railway project. It is an important 14,000-kilometre network that seeks to promote freight connections across Europe and Asia.
Its role is also very prominent in the analysis of the implementation of high-speed networks.
AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (ADB)
The bank, based in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) began operations in 1964. It consists of 53 African countries and is funded by 24 European, American and Asian states. Its lines of work focus on promoting the continent’s economic development and social progress. The group’s structure also includes the African Development Fund (ADF), and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF).
In terms of transport infrastructure, the bank has co-financed High Speed rail in Morocco. Thanks to its support, studies have been carried out for the railway connection between Ethiopia and Sudan or the construction of a bridge for mixed traffic on the Kinshasa-Ilebo line (Democratic Republic of Congo) or the economic support for the transport plans of several countries such as Tanzania.
In Senegal, the Bank’s support for the development of the Regional Express Train (TER) linking the airport with Dakar and Diamniadio is more than remarkable, also contributing to reducing congestion of the capital city, which suffers numerous traffic jams and crowds.
ASIAN INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT BANK (AIIB)
This recently created multilateral financial institution was established in 2015 by 57 countries at the initiative of China, home to its headquarters, although members have been gradually joining in to become 102 today. Its mission is to promote sustainable economic development and improve infrastructure connectivity in Asia and also in Oceania.
In 2019, 15 transport projects were approved, representing 20.6% of the total initiatives that were launched, as reflected in its annual report.
Among the railway’s promotion activities, it has been involved in several initiatives such as the first railway system in Oman (Oman) or numerous operations in India, including the Mumbai and Chennai metros.