Niamey - The World Bank finalised a deal on Friday to loan Niger $203m to help finance the second phase of the West African nation's Kandadji hydroelectric project.
Located on the Niger River 160km northwest of the capital Niamey, the Kandadji dam will have a capacity to produce 130MW of electricity.
Upon completion in 2017, it will also help increase the arid, land-locked nation's available arable land by improving access to irrigation.
"Kandadji is important to us, because it will boost the irrigation and electric energy sectors, create jobs as well as increase agricultural production," World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati said after signing the agreement.
Niger, one of the world's poorest countries, suffers from frequent food shortages due to irregular rainfall and rapid population growth.
Plagued by almost daily power outages, it imports around 70% of its electricity from southern neighbour Nigeria.
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