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The UK Export Finance (UKEF) has provided more than US$123.91mn loan to the government of Benin in support of a UK contract for construction firm Sogea-Satom, to redevelop the major interstate road, securing business for the UK supply chain
The agreement follows six months on from the Africa Investment Summit that took place in January of this year where the UK committed to being the ‘partner of choice’ for African nations.
Total UK exports to Benin were worth US$35.93mn in 2019 and this deal is set to significantly increase 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, part of one of the world’s largest construction group VINCI, will undertake the works on the road between Bohicon and Parakou to better connect Benin to neighbouring Niger.
The rehabilitated road provides essential infrastructure for businesses in Benin. It will improve access to landlocked African countries to the north, helping to transform the country’s trading potential and allow the free flow of commercial traffic in the region.
In addition to this road project, Sogea Sotum UK is also responsible for managing other large-scale projects in Benin. These include civil works, construction of buildings, refurbishment and development of roads and construction of marine infrastructure. Sogea Sotum UK is strengthening its relationships with UK suppliers to contribute to its project pipeline in the region.
Jean-Michel Guelaud, CEO Africa at Sogea Satom UK, commented, “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.”