Vision of sustainable and inclusive development

The Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement (BOAD), the joint development finance institution of the WAEMU countries, is aware that its mission involves challenges linked in particular to poverty, gender inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice.


These challenges underline the importance of a balanced integration of environmental, social and economic dimensions in the projects it finances, while ensuring respect for human rights and gender equality.


Inspired by this vision, the WADB is committed to supporting sustainable and inclusive development in the UEMOA zone through the planning, implementation and monitoring-evaluation of investments that respect environmental and social balances, as an essential lever for achieving results in line with its mandate to promote economic and social development and combat poverty.

This vision also reflects BOAD’s commitment to sustainable development as the foundation of its approach to environmental and social risk management, as well as its mission of sustainable and inclusive development.

In this respect, BOAD will work with the Promoters to define priority initiatives to achieve this vision, while establishing cooperative relationships with development finance institutions (DFIs), donors and other sub-regional, regional and international organizations. It will also maintain dialogue with these institutions, UEMOA member countries, civil society and local communities on environmental and social issues.

BOAD's Environmental and Social Policy

The environmental and social policy of the Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement (BOAD) sets out the obligations of the bank and promoters with regard to projects submitted for BOAD financing. It is presented in the Bank’s Environmental and Social Safeguarding Framework (p7-13).

Environmental Policy

The main objectives of this policy are as follows:

  • Strengthen the resilience of WAEMU (West African Economic and Monetary Union) member countries and communities to the effects of climate change.
  • Develop an integrated approach to reducing carbon emissions from BOAD-financed projects.
  • Promote a systemic and integrated approach to managing environmental and social risks and impacts throughout project cycles.
  • Align BOAD’s environmental and social protection framework with international standards, while taking into account the realities and priorities of WAEMU countries.
  • Enhance promoters’ ability to meet today’s environmental and social challenges.

The policy is committed to ensuring the environmental and social sustainability of BOAD-financed projects, by protecting health and safety and encouraging the rational use of natural resources. It also promotes gender equality, the reduction of inequalities and the fight against the effects of climate change.

BOAD is committed to strengthening the resilience of member countries and communities to extreme climatic events. To this end, it establishes nine environmental and social safeguard standards aimed at avoiding, minimizing, reducing or mitigating the risks and negative impacts of projects.

The policy applies to all projects submitted to BOAD for financing, from both the public and private sectors, with the exception of specific projects listed in an exclusion list. It covers areas such as climate change adaptation, pollution prevention, biodiversity, gender mainstreaming, worker protection, land acquisition and cultural heritage preservation.

BOAD requires promoters to set up environmental and social commitment plans right from the preparation phase, and to involve stakeholders throughout the project cycle. Mechanisms for handling grievances are also provided for.

In short, BOAD’s environmental and social policy aims to promote sustainable projects that are resilient to climate change and respect environmental and social aspects in the WAEMU region.

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Requirements of BOAD's Environmental and Social Safeguarding Standards (ESSS)

BOAD requires project promoters to comply with the Environmental and Social Safeguard Standards (ESSS) to ensure that projects meet environmental and social criteria. The NSESs are as follows:

  1. Environmental and Social Assessment (E&S) and Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS).
  2. Workforce and working conditions, accompanied by NSES Procedure No. 2.
  3. Pollution prevention and management and rational use of resources.
  4. Community health, safety and security.
  5. Land acquisition, restrictions on access and use, and involuntary resettlement.
  6. Biodiversity and sustainable management of natural resources.
  7. Vulnerable and/or disadvantaged groups.
  8. Cultural heritage.
  9. Stakeholder information and participation.

The applicability of each NSES is determined by a due diligence process based on the classification of projects according to their environmental and social risk. This classification assigns projects to one of the following categories:

  • Category A projects: These present significant impacts and risks, but are potentially reversible or modifiable through mitigation or avoidance measures. These projects require a detailed Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and an Environmental and Social Management Plan.
  • Category B projects: These have limited impacts and risks that can be managed by applying standard mitigation measures. An environmental and social impact statement (NIES) with a detailed environmental and social management plan is required.
  • Category C projects: These have minor impacts that simply require the adoption of environmental and social requirements for their implementation.
  • Category IF projects: Involving financial intermediaries, they can be classified in Categories A, B or C.

Before granting financing, BOAD subjects each project to a « preliminary screening » process to determine its category and trigger appropriate safeguards according to potential environmental and social risks and impacts.

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