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With IFC Help, Benin Awards Port Concession to Improve West African Trade Prospects


Dakar, Senegal — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced that Groupement Bolloré won the bid to invest in and manage a public-private partnership port concession in Benin that promises to increase trade between landlocked countries in West Africa and the rest of the world.

IFC advised the government of Benin on the bidding process for the South Wharf Container Terminal concession at the port of Cotonou.

Groupement Bolloré, composed of Bolloré and Société de Manutention du Terminal à Conteneurs de Cotonou, will manage the port’s operations for 25 years. It competed with a group of world-class operators that were prequalified to bid through a highly competitive and transparent selection process. The final selection criterion was based on the highest total amount of cumulative fees to be paid annually to the government for the first eight years of operations.

The South Wharf Container Terminal is intended to improve port performance and security, expand capacity, and cut costs. It is expected to significantly reduce delays at the port and help increase opportunities to develop external markets for the agriculture and fishing industries.

Groupement Bolloré’s proposal included a commitment to pay fees of $200 million over the first eight years of operations, and to invest $256 million in operating equipment and civil works over the life of the concession.

“Trade and investment are critical to Benin’s development,” said Yolande Duhem, IFC Director for West and Central Africa. “An improved port and other infrastructure facilities will create new opportunities for this nation’s people and businesses.”

The government of Benin received funding of $169 million from the United States under a program conducted by the Millennium Challenge Corporation to assist in the port sector reforms.

The transaction was completed in eight months, signaling the commitment of Benin, IFC, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation. IFC advised the government with the support of DevCo, a multidonor affiliate program that incorporates the Private Infrastructure Development Group, supported by the U.K.’s Department for International Development, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swedish International Development Agency, and the Austrian Development Agency.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $15 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit


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