ECOWAS: the Lagos-Dakar motorway and the rail loop in search of funding

Eric Ky

ECOWAS experts have just finalized the public private partnership (PPP) structuring work as well as the guarantee mechanisms for priority projects of the Community Development Program (PCD). These include the Lagos-Dakar highway, the West African rail loop and the creation of a new regional shipping company. The next step will be the mobilization of funding through a round table of donors to accelerate the realization of these strategic projects for the strengthening of sub-regional integration.
The Community Development Program (PCD) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is progressing well. The sub-regional organization intends to accelerate the implementation of its priority projects and within this framework. Commission experts as well as representatives of international financial institutions including EBID, the ECOWAS Investment and Development Bank, have just met in Lomé, Togo to put the finishing touches to the public-private partnership structuring process. (PPP) and guarantee mechanisms for priority projects identified under the PCD.

The participants in the meeting thus exchanged on the ways and means to allow the projects to move forward and mainly focused their discussions on the preparation of the next round table of donors in order to mobilize the necessary funding for the realization of these projects. structuring.

Among these projects, that relating to the construction of the Lagos-Dakar motorway in two phases, the first of which will concern the Abidjan-Lagos axis, 1028 km long, and the second, the Abidjan-Dakar axis, on a length of 3000 km. The program also includes the realization of the Cotonou-Niamey-Ouagadougou-Dori-Abidjan rail loop project, and the Ouangolodougou-Bamako rail project.

Regional transport and interconnection

In addition to these transport infrastructures, ECOWAS intends to advance the creation of a maritime transport company “Sealink” as well as the strengthening of air transport in the sub-regional space.

The Lomé meeting also provided an opportunity to take stock of the progress made on other underlying projects, in particular the 225kV and 330kV interconnection projects of the power grids in West Africa (Nigeria-Niger-Benin-Burkina Faso, Ghana-Burkina Faso, Mali-Guinea), as well as the development of renewable energy systems in ECOWAS member states.

In addition, the Regional Program for the Implementation of the Rice Offensive in West Africa which includes a component for the construction of boreholes for food and agricultural use as well as the project to create 6 specialized referral hospitals and the regional center. ECOWAS Disease Surveillance and Control (CRSCM / ECOWAS) were also reviewed by the experts.

Action plan

At the end of their work, a framework for presenting and structuring projects in PPP mode was adopted for the priority projects planned for the donors’ round table, announced the ECOWAS Commission in a press release. According to the same source, the examination of the developed projects highlighted “the potential risks and the existing guarantee mechanisms, as well as the possibilities of syndication between the interventions of the institutions represented”.

The regional and international financial institutions that are partners in this first phase of the implementation of these vast structuring projects have in any case made a point of expressing their availability to support the ECOWAS Commission through the various instruments at their disposal, for the implementation. effectiveness of PCD priority projects.

In this sense, they indicated that they were open to adapting their intervention mechanisms to the different structures that will be carried out, in concert with the donors, on each project. Which, in the opinion of the participants, constitutes a good start for the implementation of PCD projects, which will significantly strengthen the process of economic integration within this space made up of 15 countries for a market of more than 300 million. inhabitants.

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