The General Manager of railways for the Bolloré group, Thierry Ballard, and the Prime Ministers of Niger and Benin respectively, Brigi Rafini and Lionel Zinsou, signed concession agreements for the operation and infrastructure construction of the Niamey-Cotonou railway on 13 August.
“The purpose of signing these concession agreements is to settle definitively all the agreements which will allow construction of the railway to be totally completed and the negotiated conditions, as well as the advantages agreed upon with the Bolloré group”, declared the Niger State Minister in charge of Planning, Amadou Boubacar Cissé, during the signing ceremony held in Niamey.
The construction works of this railway which will link Cotonou to Niamey and pass through the Nigerien cities of Dosso and Gaya as well as Parakou (Benin), over a distance of 1050 km, have effectively started since April 2014 in the Niger capital, and are over 60% completed on the Niamey-Dosso axis.
The Cotonou to Parakou stretch will be rehabilitated and constructed between Parakou and Niamey with an initial cost approximately estimated at one billion euros.
The construction of this railway line has a particular importance for the two countries. Most of the uranium produced in Niger is indeed exported through the Cotonou Port. Transportation of ores, currently undertaken by convoys of trucks, generates numerous security and environmental challenges to which the railroad could be the answer.
The Cotonou-Niamey railroad is moreover an important stretch of the West African rail loop which in the end, should link Abidjan, Ouagadougou, Niamey, Cotonou and Lomé.
Source : agenceecofin