Senegal has obtained $7.7bn of creditor finance at an investor forum in Paris focused on an economic and social development programme intended to boost the status of the West African country from that of a developing economy to an emerging economy by 2035.

“Senegal has the confidence of creditors for its economic and social development plan,” said Senegalese President Macky Sall after a first day of talks in Paris by the ‘Consultative Group on Senegal’, which grouped creditors at the offices of the World Bank.

President Sall was in Paris to present his ‘Plan for an emerging Senegal’ programme, which aims achieve its objectives by boosting growth to 7.0% over the next four years, up from its present 4.6%, and to use this elevated growth to develop Senegal into an emerging economy.

“Now we have to merit all this confidence,” Sall said, referring to reforms to modernise administration, increase the transparency of public affairs, and improve social security.

“A new page is open,” he concluded, stating his intention to unite the various driving forces within the economy to “develop an economy of solidarity within an environment of improved administration, under the rule of law, together with peace and security.”

The SNDES investment programme, as it is formally known, provides an international platform to attract donors and partnerships for around 30 projects concerning notably agriculture, road infrastructure, energy, tourism, social housing, and information technology.

It is supported by the World Bank and the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP), and also brought together representatives from the International Monetary Fund, the United States Development Agency, the Department for Foreign International Development of the UK, the African Development Bank and the Kuwaiti Fund among others.

France has also separately announced plans to invest up to $550m in a new state-owned mining company with a keen interest in Francophone former colonies in Africa and particularly Senegal, according to the French industry minister Arnaud Montebourg.

Ghanese former President John Agyekum Kufuor was also present to help raise money for Senegal in to support of the plan for the country’s economy.

He took the opportunity to criticise Ghana’s own lack of initiative when it came to taking advantage of its former presidents like other countries, and noted that he is ready to extend a similar gesture to President John Mahama and is “ready to serve when called upon.”

Frank Agyekum, his spokesperson, added: “Although I cannot answer to why he is not being consulted on issues, he has always expressed his support for President John Mahama,” recalling how former President Kufuor defied protests by his own party to attend President Mahama’s swearing-in.