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Overstretched: the port of Dakar is struggling to meet the demands of African trade


Dakar and Bamako. China Railway Construction Corporation is being lined up to construct the railway but plans have still not been finalised. “I think the new port will be a boost to the


Senegalese economy,” says Papa Sall, Citi’s country officer for Senegal and and head of west and central Africa. “It will make Dakar the biggest container port in west Africa. Around 20% of all the government’s revenue comes from customs duties from the existing port and so the new port could really help to improve the government’s revenues, too. I believe that DP World’s SEZ located beside the port and the planned railway development between Dakar and Bamako will attract many more foreign investors to the country. These are strategic infrastructure projects of regional importance.” The IMF has two key concerns about the


new port. “The first area of concern in the design of this mega-project is the fact that the local joint venture company between DPWorld and the Autonomous Port of Dakar will also finance the land and maritime infrastructures of the new port,” says Mesmin Koulet-Vickot, the fund’s resident representative for Senegal. “These are budgetary activities in essence and should therefore be financed or carried out by the state. The second concern is the attendant fiscal risks and contingent liabilities that need to be carefully assessed and monitored.”


Following the plan The nation’s strong economic performance between 2013 and 2019 has been credited to


April/May 2021 www.fDiIntelligence.com


the government’s ambitious national develop- ment plan, the Plan for an Emerging Senegal, which aims to turn it into an emerging coun- try by 2035. It has three pillars: structural transformation of the economic framework; promotion of human capital; and good govern- ance and rule of law. The country is expected to finalise its pub-


lic-private partnership (PPP) framework soon. Foreign investors should be able to invest in an array of infrastructure areas under thenew PPP structure including roads, rural electricity, housing and water desalination plants. “I think the new PPP rules could be a game


changer for foreign investment into the coun- try once they are fully implemented,” says Ms Billing. “UK companies are expressing a strong interest in participating in these projects.” Senegal is not the only country in west


Africa withambitious plans for port expansion. Since 2017, Swiss container terminal operator Terminal Investment Limited has invested $380m in expanding the container port at Lomé, the Togolese capital. A joint venture between Bollore, a French logistics company, and APM Terminals, a Dutch container termi- nal operator, has secured $1.5bn in funding for an expansion of the Temaport in Ghana. The $1.5bn Lekki Deep Seaport, close to


Lagos, Nigeria, is expected to open in the first quarter of 2023. The port’s first phase is being part-financed by a $629mloan fromthe China Development Bank.ChinaHarbourEngineering, a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company, is undertaking its con- structionwork.■


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