The UK will guarantee a major road construction project in Togo with £68.6 million (CFA51.69 billion). The road is the Sokode-Tchamba-Kambole axis and is located in the north. It is 76.5 km long and connects Togo to the Republic of Benin.
The guarantee will be provided via UK Export Finance (UKEF), in support of a loan from the Japanese bank MUFG. The UK government revealed these details last Wednesday, October 19, on the sidelines of the very first Franco-British forum on trade and investment in West and Central Africa (held on October 19 and 20) and on the eve of Togo’s Flag Raising ceremony as a member of the Commonwealth.
“This project is part of Togo’s broader road infrastructure plan,” said Rose Kayi Mivedor, Togo’s Minister of Investment Promotion, who attended the forum. “Our government continues to make strategic investments in infrastructure to build and maintain a road network that not only moves people and goods but also stimulates growth in the cities involved,” she added.
For his part, James Duddridge, the British Minister of Trade, said the project will accelerate intra-African trade, open up routes to dynamic markets, and unlock £47 million of British exports to the region.
The new guarantee is part of a £174.4 million package described by London as “historic funding” granted to Togo and Benin, in the wake of Togo’s entry into CommonWealth.
The UKEF is the world’s first export credit agency. One of its main conditions for providing guarantees is that most related contracts go to UK exporters. Its support to Togo, according to the UK government, “confirms the soundness and viability of the [road construction] project”, and “thanks to its expertise, the parties have been able to put in place an affordable financing solution that will make this priority project a success for Togo’s economy.”
It should be remembered that UKEF’s role is also to ensure that a large proportion of contracts are awarded to British companies as a condition of its support.