AfDB remains a key stakeholder in Senegal’s integrated infrastructure development projects. The new toll highway, which runs through Grand Dakar, is yet another example of this commitment. The vast construction project is now complete and the highway is officially open.
A long line of cars snakes calmly, as if in procession, along the new 32-kilometre (20-mile) strip of tarmac that runs through Grand Dakar. With some 100,000 vehicles passing through the city each day, the Senegalese capital had a long-standing congestion problem. Now, with its brand new state-of-the-art highway, a dramatic change is underway. It is also welcome relief for motorists, who are finally freed from the traffic jams that used to clog the city.
The first foundation stone was laid back in 2005, in Malick Sy. Some eight years later, the toll highway between Dakar and Diamniadio is finally complete. It was officially opened on August 1, 2013, following the completion of the second and final road section.
Official opening on August 1, 2013
According to Didier Payerne, Operations Director at Senac, the Senegalese subsidiary of French company Eiffage and operator of the highway, the journey between Dakar and Diamniadio should now take no more than 15 minutes during normal traffic conditions. In the past, this same journey would have taken 90 minutes. This represents “a saving of seven litres of fuel for private car drivers, or around 6,000 CFA,” according to his calculations.
Diène Farba Sarr, Managing Director of Apix, the Senegalese investment and major infrastructure project promotion agency, is keen to stress the exceptional nature of the project. “This is one of only a handful of highways in Africa built in urban areas,” he explains. “It’s a highway that will help to boost development.”
This was a massive project – both for Senegal and the wider region as a whole – on several levels, due to the sheer scale of the work involved, the financial cost (co-funded and supported by African Development Bank, the World Bank and Agence Française de Développement, among others), the number of people displaced by the project and its potential to improve access and break down barriers.
The official opening on August 1, 2013 was attended by Senegalese President Macky Sall, along with representatives from central and local government, technical and financial partners and civil society organizations. The highway was delivered to the timetable set by the authorities, following completion of the 20.4-km (12.7-mile) section between Pikine and Diamniadio and the construction of the Patte d’Oie toll plaza at Diamniadio.
Total investment of 380.2 billion CFA
For this project, the PPP agreement was between the Senegalese Government, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank (WB) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD), and several private partners, including Eiffage. In this particular instance, AfDB provided concessionary resources to support non-sovereign operations in a low-income country.
The total cost of the project stood at 375.5 million euros, with AfDB providing a preferential non-sovereign loan of 12 million euros, over a 15-year term, including a grace period of five years, as well as an additional credit facility of 1.5 million euros. With extensive experience in infrastructure projects in Senegal, the AfDB was able to provide long-term finance to make the project more economically viable, while ensuring that stringent social and environmental safeguards were put in place.
In addition to this non-sovereign finance package, the AfDB also provided a 51.5-million euro sovereign loan to the Senegalese Government.