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Rail line work between Niger and Benin to begin next month

The Cotonou-Niamey railway line aims to boost economic growth between Niger and Benin. (Image source: US Army Africa/Flickr)

Construction work on the Cotonou-Parakou-Niamey rail link between Benin and Niger will begin on 7 April 2014, according to Nigerian officials

The line will begin at Benin’s capital Cotonou, extending to Parakou in Benin, and ending at Niger’s capital Niamey, for a total distance of 1,050km.

The cost of the project is over US$1.3bn, sources added.

French firm Bollore, partner for the project, has reportedly committed itself to mobilise funds to complete the project in the next four years.

Up to 40 per cent of the construction cost is expected to come from partners, 10 per cent each from Niger and Benin, 20 per cent each from Nigerian and Beninese private sector partners, according to officials in Nigeria.

The Cotonou-Parakou-Niamey rail link is part of the the West African rail loop, which aims to connect Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Niamey (Niger) and Cotonou (Benin) via 2,500km of rail track, helping export agricultural products, livestock and mineral resources.

In November 2013, Mahamadou Issoufou, president of Niger and Thomas Boni Yayi, president of Benin had signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to construct this railway line.

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