"This state-of-the-art infrastructure will help reduce Sao Tome & Principe's isolation and accelerate its integration," Pierre Guislain, Vice President, Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization Division of the Bank.
On Friday, March 1st, 2019 in Abidjan, the Government of São Tomé & Príncipe and the African Development Bank signed a grant agreement of USD 2 million to co-finance the expenses related to the preparatory activities of the project development of a deep-water port at Fernão Dias in the north of the country.
This financing has been mobilised by the Bank, within the framework of the resources of the Facility for the Preparation of Infrastructure Projects, NEPAD-IPPF, and aims to make São Tomé a "Port Hub" to boost the economy of the country. country, lessen its isolation and accelerate its integration with mainland Africa.
It will be a matter of developing the port, and thus improving the competitiveness of export products, thanks to the savings that will be generated by the reduced costs of port operations. The project will also contribute to reducing the costs of goods and products imported to São Tomé.
Co-signing for the African Development Bank, its vice-president, responsible for the private sector, infrastructure and industrialisation, Pierre Guislain stressed the importance of this donation. For him, the realisation of this project is essential for the socio-economic development of São Tomé and Príncipe and for the strengthening of trade between Central Africa, West Africa and Southern Africa.
"The Bank is keen on this transformative project, which will help open up the archipelago of São Tomé and Príncipe, reducing its isolation and strengthening its economic integration with neighbouring countries (Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo"). and Angola, "said the Vice President.
The Minister of Planning, Finance and the Blue Economy of Sao Tome & Principe, Osvaldo Vaz, for his part, expressed his government's gratitude to the Bank for its commitment to the country. "The African Development Bank is our partner of choice. It has always been with us, and the signing of this agreement is a testament to the dynamism of our cooperation and its commitment to support the development efforts of the Government of Sao Tome, "the minister said.
The preparatory activities that are the subject of the donation, revolve around technical studies and PPP structuring; project management; capacity building. They also concern marketing activities; the organisation of a Round Table of Donors and the audit of the project.
According to Division Manager, Infrastructure & Partnerships, NEPAD-IFPP, Mike Salawou, "The main purpose of these activities is to determine the best technical, economic, financial and socio-environmental option for the proposed port development, and to propose a PPP model to finance its physical realisation and exploitation. "
Since its first operations in 1978, the Bank has largely supported the development of Sao Tome and Principe. It currently has more than 30 operations (15 projects, 5 studies and 7 multi sectoral interventions) in the country, for an estimated total amount of $ 156 million. These operations breakdown as follows: agriculture (45%); multi-sectoral interventions (37%); social sector (18%).