The Guinea-Bissau Resilient Road Corridor is part of the Praia-Dakar-Abidjan Strategic Corridor defined in the EU–Africa Global Gateway Investment Package.
The new agreement concerns the first stage of technical assistance cooperation.
The technical assistance of up to €3.5 million will provide concrete support in key aspects such as procurement, environmental and social safeguards management, road safety and climate resilience, ensuring sustainability.
At the 5th UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC5) in Qatar, the Republic of Guinea-Bissau and the European Investment Bank (EIB Global) have announced the signature and first stage implementation of the technical assistance cooperation agreement for the Guinea-Bissau Resilient Road Corridor project, which forms part of the Praia-Dakar-Abidjan Strategic Corridor. This Global Gateway flagship, which will enhance mobility and trade in a sustainable and safe manner, is currently being implemented by the European Investment Bank. Subject to approvals, it should benefit from a grant from the European Union (EU) as well as EIB financing in the coming months.
The cooperation agreement was signed by Guinea-Bissau's Minister of Finance Ilídio Vieira Té, EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros, and EU Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen.
Guinea-Bissau's Minister of Finance Ilídio Vieira Té said,
“First of all, on behalf of the Government of Guinea-Bissau, I would like to express my great satisfaction on this important day for my country. Its marks the signing of the cooperation agreement with EIB Global the European Investment Bank (EIB Global) to provide technical assistance for the SAFIM-MPACK road corridor. I believe that this day will also bring the relaunch of the financing operations of projects. The rehabilitation of the road that connects SAFIM to MPACK is an emblematic project of our cooperation and testimony of how much the European Union and its bank the EIB, are committed to helping Guinea-Bissau find the best development path. This project, as part of the Trans-West African Coastal Highway, should contribute to increasing intra-regional trade and economic efficiency while representing the main means of transport for most rural communities.”
“I am proud that, at the EIB, we are mobilising our vast expertise to support the implementation of this strategic and impactful project for the region. As part of the Praia-Dakar-Abidjan corridor, it will directly benefit the local population by facilitating mobility – including improved access to health and education, particularly for women and children in rural areas. It is a true flagship project supported by EIB Global, our new arm dedicated to development and international partnerships outside the European Union. I hope that this project will be followed by many other projects in various key sectors for Guinea-Bissau benefiting from both EIB and EU support,” said EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros.
European Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen said: “The Resilient Road Corridor project to rehabilitate the main road that connects the Guinea Bissau capital with Senegal is a true flagship EU-Africa Global Gateway project. As part of the Praia-Dakar-Abidjan Strategic Corridor, it will facilitate mobility and trade in Africa, and between Africa and Europe.. The technical assistance agreement signed today is an important step forward in enhancing and greening connectivity, and I look forward to the next steps.
The first stage launch of this new technical assistance agreement of up to €3.5 million marks an important step forward in the implementation of this road corridor project in Guinea-Bissau in terms of procurement, environmental and social safeguards management, road safety, climate resilience and reporting. It will facilitate the rehabilitation, including climate change resilience enhancement, of a 115 km section of the N2 road (Bissau-Mpack) between Safim, north of the capital Bissau, and the Mpack border crossing with Senegal. The N2 is part of the Dakar-Lagos Trans-African Highway Corridor No 7 (TAH-7) and the only paved road connecting Guinea-Bissau to external markets.
This road corridor plays an essential role in trade between Guinea-Bissau and the wider region. Once completed, the project is expected to facilitate the mobility of the local population while contributing significantly to Guinea-Bissau's regional integration efforts. Furthermore, this project will improve people’s access to health and education as well as enhancing economic activities along the corridor and beyond. Improved access to health services will, in particular, benefit women and children in the rural areas that will be served by the corridor.
The project is also being co-financed by the World Bank.
About the European Investment Bank (EIB)
EIB Global is the EIB Group’s specialised arm dedicated to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance. EIB Global is designed to foster strong, focused partnership within Team Europe, alongside fellow development finance institutions, and civil society. EIB Global brings the Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through our offices across the world.
Through EIB Global, the bank is strengthening its presence in Africa. Over the last decade the EIB has provided more than €28 billion for innovative technologies, green energy, water, education, agriculture, telecoms, health and business investment in 40 countries across the continent. Since the start of the pandemic alone, the EIB has provided more than €8.5 billion for new private and public investment across Africa.
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 European countries. It is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. It acts globally to promote sustainable development of societies, environment and economies, so that everyone can benefit.
The project will finance the rehabilitation and climate change resilience enhancement of the N2 highway between Safim and Mpack (115 km), corresponding to a section of the Dakar-Lagos Trans-African Highway corridor No.7 (TAH-7). More specifically, this includes widening the existing road to accommodate hard shoulders, as well as the rehabilitation of two major and five minor bridges.
The EIB loan will support road rehabilitation works on the approximately 65 km-long section, starting from PK45 close to village of d'Antotinha to the M'Pack border crossing.
The interconnection of West Africa’s power grids has entered a new phase. The EIB has decided to finance OMVG’s energy project, the missing link in the region’s power interconnection and one of the priorities of the West African Electricity Exchange System. For this purpose the EIB is granting a global loan of €85 million (CFAF 55.7 billion) to Senegal and Guinea (€20 million and €65 million respectively).
The signing ceremony of the financing contract took place on Friday 23 April 2021 at the Kaloum Hotel in Conakry, and was attended by members of the Guinean government, as well as representatives of the European Union and the European Investment Bank (EIB).