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Lusa - Business News - Cabo Verde: Parliament green lights Praia-Dakar-Abidjan trade corridor

Praia,March.24,2023(Lusa)-The parliament of Cabo Verde on Friday approved accession to the treaty that in 2017 created the "Dakar-Abidjan Road Corridor," a multimodal project of 3,164 kilometres, after ensuring the incorporation of the maritime component "Praia-Dakar" of 500 kilometres.
The treaty to implement this project was adopted in June 2017 in Monrovia by seven member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Ivory Coast, Gambia, Guinea Conakry, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Senegal, providing for "the construction of a highway" starting in Dakar, Senegal, to Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, passing through all those countries, according to the proposal voted on and unanimously approved by the parliament in Praia.
Cabo Verde, the only archipelagic country of ECOWAS, did not sign the adhesion to the project, but 18 months later the member states adopted the so-called "Additional Act" to the treaty, accepted at the time by the Cabo Verde government, and the project now incorporates a maritime component between the port of Praia and Dakar, of about 500 kilometres, thus becoming known as the "Praia-Dakar-Abidjan Corridor".
Five years later, the Cabo Verde parliament was called this month to discuss and vote on the country's accession to the treaty that created the corridor and the ratification of the "Additional Act".
"Notwithstanding the financial implications of accession and possible risks associated with it in terms of internal security, given the very promising social and economic impacts for the country and the entire West African sub-region, Cabo Verde's full accession to the treaty and the ratification of the Additional Act is recommended," the resolution reads.
This is a multimodal project that includes, in addition to roads over a total of 3,164 kilometres, the construction of bridges, river transport stations and rail lines, as well as including other parallel projects, development of energy, information technology and communications, telecommunications, maritime transport and water and gas pipelines, amongst others, interconnecting "some of the largest urban cities in Africa," namely Praia, Dakar, Banjul, Bissau, Conakry, Freetown, Monrovia and Abidjan.
Stressing that this is an initiative of "transcendental importance to the ECOWAS states and their respective peoples," the Cabo Verde government resolution recalls that underlying the project is "the deficit in transport infrastructure and equipment in the sub-region," which "remains a significant obstacle to the development and provision of basic services for regional integration".
"Inadequate interconnectivity prevents the countries of the community from developing profitable exchanges and leveraging national, regional and global opportunities," it reads.
The maritime component between Praia and Dakar "resulted from the recognition, both by the Cabo Verdean authorities and the other ECOWAS member states, of the difficulties of connecting Cabo Verde, as an island state, with the West African region, which has been leading to additional transport costs, penalising its economic and social development," the Cabo Verdean government also acknowledges.
Generating "additional flows" of cargo and passengers, "stimulating trade and economic cooperation" between Cabo Verde and the remaining West African countries, "facilitating the safe, efficient and competitive movement of people and goods" as well as regional and international trade, "improving maritime equipment and infrastructure," simplifying and harmonising requirements and controls governing the movement of goods and people, with a view to reducing transport costs and transit times, are objectives of the maritime component of the project.
"The general understanding within the ECOWAS space is that inadequate road infrastructure has been a constant source of frustration in the region, which has long prevented or limited commercial transactions, as well as partly responsible for the high cost of transporting goods throughout the region," the government also adds.
With the realisation of the comprehensive project, it is expected, among other outcomes, to "achieve enhanced regional integration", "trade tracking", "transport efficiency" and "economic and business growth", in addition to new opportunities for those within ECOWAS, increased regional trade, economic growth and poverty reduction, and an increase in the number of small and medium enterprises and businesses.

Agency : LUSA

Date : 2023-03-25 12:41:00


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