By Abdul Rahman Bangura–
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Freetown, Sierra Leone- $123.91 million loan has been given by the United Kingdom, Export Finance to the administration of Benin to enhance a UK contract for the construction company – Sogea-Satom, to renew the main interstate road, securing business for the UK supply chain.
Consensus emerges in January, 2020 from the Africa Investment Summit in the UK where the UK devoted to being the ‘partner of choice’ for African nations. Total UK exports to Benin were worth $35.93 million in last year and this contract is set to extensively boost that figure during the two years of the road’s development.
Graham Stuart MP – Minister for Exports, said, “This deal will bring significant benefits to UK construction exporters and suppliers at a time when we need to keep trade flowing. It shows that UK businesses, with the right support from government, can continue to export anywhere in the world.”
Construction company Sogea-Satom UK which is understood, is part of one of the world’s largest construction group VINCI, will embark the works on the road between Bohicon and Parakou to adequately connect Benin to neighboring Niger.
After renovations, the roads shall contributes to necessary infrastructure for businesses in Benin. It will also boost entry to landlocked African countries to the north, enabling to revamp the country’s marketing potential and allow the free flow of commercial traffic in the region.
In addendum to this road project, Sogea Sotum UK is also accountable for supervising other large-scale projects in Benin which but not included to civil works, construction of buildings, refurbishment and development of roads and construction of marine infrastructure. Sogea Sotum UK is bolstering its friendships with the UK suppliers to participate to its project channel in the region.
Jean-Michel Guelaud – Chief Executive Officer of Africa at Sogea Satom UK, remarked, “We are excited about this project which help us expand our overseas footprint and will have a profound impact on trade in West Africa. UKEF’s support was fundamental to the securing of this contact and shows the UK government belief in the importance of trade with dynamic, emerging economies.”
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