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Dakar-Diamniadio: Senegal’s Highway of Hope



Dakar, the capital of Senegal, is facing the familiar challenges of rapid urbanization, including transportation, housing, mobility, and the security of goods and people.

Home to nearly a quarter of the Senegalese population of approximately 15 million people, Dakar sits on a peninsula and cannot expand further to the west, north or south.

The 45-kilometre Dakar-Diamniadio Highway has cut the journey between the city and its great suburb from 90 to 30 minutes, providing enormous relief. Of a total cost of nearly €388 million, the project received €65 million from the African Development Bank.

After opening in August 2013, the motorway made it easier for thousands of Senegalese to commute from their homes in the outlying suburbs to work in Dakar. Others bought apartments in the new urban and economic hub built around Diamniadio.

In addition to improving the lives of many living near the Dakar-Diamniadio motorway, it has added real value to the Senegalese economy, by serving the Blaise Diagne International Airport, which opened in December 2017, and making it easier to travel to tourist sites.

The motorway is helping to strengthen regional integration by improving the link between Senegal and countries of the sub-region, thereby benefiting both the Senegalese people and the countries of the sub-region.

Serge Marie N’Guessan, the Bank’s Country Manager for Senegal, observes, “This motorway is an ambitious project that ties together a number of the African Development Bank’s strategic priorities, including improving the quality of life for the people and regional integration. Dakar-Diamniadio forms part of the structural and transformational infrastructure of the Senegalese economy.”



Considered a model public-private partnership, the motorway is run as a concession by the French Eiffage Group. It aims to:

Reduce the demographic concentration in Dakar, home to 23% of the Senegalese population of approximately 15 million people.

Improve the quality of life of people living near the motorway at Pikine Irrégulier Sud and at Tivaouane Peul.

Encourage the creation of a new economic hub around Diamniadio.

Contribute to regional integration by facilitating access and travel within the country and beyond.


Reduced travel time has allowed many parents working in Dakar to return home earlier to work with their children on their schoolwork. For those in Diamniadio in need of medical attention, they could commute quickly to receive specialist care in Dakar.

During the construction phase, hundreds of jobs were created and particular attention was paid to recruiting women and appointing them to leadership roles.

The local economy got a real boost from the construction of a public market in Tivaouane Peul and the refurbishment of four markets in Pikine Irrégulier Sud.

The lives of the local population have been improved by the construction of two health centres in Tivaouane Peul and four health centres in Pikine Irrégulier Sud.

Education has received a boost with the construction of at least two 30-class primary schools and one 24-class secondary school, a new 2,000-pupil school was built and the 11 other schools were refurbished, and a new sports stadium built.

A multifunctional sports ground, a social and cultural centre and two mosques have been built, greatly improving the facilities available for local populations to enjoy.

Secure land tenancies were assured through the execution of title deeds for 100% of the housing in the priority program.

In preparation for the road construction, 1,200 families were compensated and 1,700 others were relocated to sites built for the purpose. Eight hundred and sixty hectares of urban land were then re-purposed and 27 kilometres of urban roads improved.

The Dakar-Diamnadio Road is far more than mere road infrastructure. Many Senegalese see it as a hopeful development, particularly those living in Dakar and its suburbs.

The airport served by the Dakar-Diamnadio Road opened in 2017 has become the gateway to Senegal for air travellers and a driver of the national economy by improving the accessibility and competitiveness of the port of Dakar and reducing travel time between Dakar, the airport, and the tourist areas of Mbour and Saly, located less than 100 kilometres to the southeast.

This construction reflects the determination of the African Development Bank to support the fight against poverty and to promote the transformation of the African economy through implementation of its High 5 strategic priorities.

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