AfDB supports Tunisia’s largest private infrastructure project-A Senior Loan of Euro 70 million to finance the Enfidha Airport Project

14/01/2009
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Tunis, 14 January, 2009 - The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group approved financing for up to Euro 70 million to finance the Enfidha Airport Project in Tunisia.

The project consists of the construction, operation, and maintenance of the new Enfidha Zine El Abidine Ben Ali International Airport for an initial capacity of 7 million passengers, and the operation and maintenance of the existing Monastir Airport. Both Airports will serve the major tourism areas of Monastir, Sousse and Hammamet, which are all located on the Mediterranean coast.

The project is the first transportation concession in Tunisia and the first airport concession in the Maghreb region. The project is therefore well aligned with the Bank’s mandate to support the development of private infrastructure in Africa. It also aligns with the Bank’s Country Strategy Paper for Tunisia and the Government of Tunisia’s 11th Economic and Social Development Plan, which both seek to support Public-Private Partnerships.

The Enfidha Project will create about 2,200 direct jobs during the construction phase and 1,200 direct jobs during operations. A further 10,000 direct jobs will be created in the local private sector. The project will also generate revenue for the Government. The project, by supporting tourism, a major economic driver of foreign currency for Tunisia, will contribute to macroeconomic resilience.

The project is economically and financially viable, and environmentally sound. It will have a major impact not only on the infrastructure sector but also on tourism and associated industries and will help to boost Tunisia’s GDP and competitiveness in the global market place.

The AfDB started its operations in Tunisia in 1968. To date, its cumulative commitment in the country stands at US$ 5.207 billion equivalent to Tunisian Dinar DT 7.047 billion for 97 operations.