Country Report Benin April 2008

The domestic economy: Improvements are planned for the airport and Cotonou port

The provision and extension of infrastructure is currently a top governmental priority, with roads, airports and seaports attracting the most attention. In December 2007 the state disbursed CFAfr6.67bn (US$14.8m) for improvements to the Cotonou international airport, including the expansion of holding capacity to cope with the increased air traffic expected from the June 2008 CEN-SAD summit. Eliminating the backlog, inefficiencies and criminality at the port of Cotnou have also been a focus of the government. A project to extend the container terminal, adding two container parks, began in January 2008 and is being carried out by three companies, SMTC (Bolloré), Société béninoise de manutentions portuaires (Sobemap) and COMAN (Maersk Line), and is scheduled to be finished by mid-2009. With estimated costs of CFAfr9bn, each company will extend a portion of the container port: the increase will include 95,000 sq metres for Maersk Line; 82,000 sq metres for SMTC; and 77,000 sq metres for Sobemap. However, regardless of these investments, improvements in the management of the port will be equally necessary to increase performance.

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