On June 28, 2012, MIGA issued $145 million in guarantees covering equity investments and subordinated loans from Bouygues Travaux Publics of France and Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund of South Africa, subordinated and senior loans from Africa Finance Corporation of Nigeria, and senior loans from BMCE Bank International Plc of the United Kingdom and FMO of the Netherlands. MIGA’s coverage is for a period of 15 years against the risks of transfer restriction, expropriation, war and civil disturbance, and breach of contract.
The investments are supporting the design, construction, and operation of the Henri Konan Bédié Toll Bridge (HKB Bridge), over the Ebrié lagoon in Abidjan, with access roads to the north and south between the residential area of Riviera and the industrial area of Marcory. The total length of the full road connection will be around 6.6 kilometers, with the bridge itself spanning 1.5 kilometers. To the north, construction will consist of a 2x2 lane dual carriageway that will connect with the junction of the Boulevard Mitterrand and Est-Ouest roads and on which will be the toll plaza. To the south, construction will consist of a 2x3 lane dual carriageway with lateral access roads that will connect to Boulevard Giscard d’Estaing, the main road that joins Abidjan airport. There will be an interchange (VGE Interchange) built, not part of this project, which will connect the access road to the bridge with Boulevard Giscard d’Estaing. Pont Houphouët-Boigny (HB Bridge), one of the existing two bridges that cross the lagoon, will close for urgent repairs after the HKB Bridge opens. Initial work on the project, funded by the government of Côte d’Ivoire, started in October 2011.
The bridge will help address significant congestion and pollution in Abidjan. The existing bridges and infrastructure are under severe strain and unable to manage the city’s growing traffic. The bridge is also expected to reduce congestion and pollution in Abidjan and will result in a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions due to lower fuel consumption. The project will also provide important demonstration effects for future initiatives in the transport sector. It is one of the first private-sector led foreign direct investments in the country since the civil strife. Approximately 840 direct jobs will be created during the construction phase.
MIGA’s participation in the project is aligned with the agency’s commitment to supporting investment into the world’s poorest countries, investment in infrastructure, investment in conflict-affected countries, and South-South investments.