Société d’Exploitation du Guichet Unique du Bénin, SA
On July 22, 2011, MIGA issued a guarantee of $7.1 million to Bureau Veritas Inspection Valuation Assessment and Control B.I.V.A.C. B.V. of the Netherlands covering its equity investment in Société d’Exploitation du Guichet Unique du Bénin, SA in Benin. The coverage is for a period of up to 10 years against the risks of transfer restriction, expropriation, and war and civil disturbance.
The project entails the purchase and maintenance of licenses, development of software, computer and network hardware, and office equipment for the creation of a virtual port single window (PSW). The PSW will manage all processes and procedures related to the passage of ships and cargo for import, export, and in transit at the Port of Cotonou under a 10-year concession from the government of Benin. The PSW will serve as an online one-stop-shop for ship itinerary reports and docking requests, customs declarations, and billing and collections. It will also function as a database to store, process, and disseminate related information for statistical and quality-control purposes.
The main development impact of the project is the anticipated improvement in competitiveness of the Port of Cotonou. This will be achieved mainly through increased interconnectivity and ease of processes and procedures related to the passage of ships and cargo through the port; increased efficiency in the exchange of information among participants in the passage process; and decreased costs and time at port for ships and cargo. This will likely result in a higher volume of cargo processed, which would increase import duty revenue. The PSW will also improve the transparency and reliability of information involved in port procedures, which can facilitate the collection of import duties and monitoring the quality of services provided at the port. Additionally, the project will transfer knowledge and technology to the direct users of the PSW. This will extend to other members of the port community as well as the trade industry through a national awareness and educational campaign that will be implemented in conjunction with the PSW’s development.
This project is aligned with the World Bank’s Country Assistance Strategy to strengthen the country’s competitiveness and accelerate private sector-led growth. It is also aligned with MIGA’s objective of supporting investments in countries eligible for concessional lending from the International Development Association. The project was underwritten through MIGA’s Small Investment Program.