Senegal has urged international investors to take advantage of the various investment opportunities available in major sectors of the country’s economy, including the ongoing construction of a new international airport and the toll motorway under its key major infrastructure projects.
A senior official of the Senegalese Investment Promotion (APIX), Ms. Houma Dia, made the call in an exclusive interview with PANA here.
“The infrastructure projects are part of the vision the authorities have in order to accelerate growth. So it’s one among the three components to redevelop the next generation infrastructure through Public Private Partnership (PPP),” she said during the recent third ECOWAS Investment forum in Nigeria’s commercial city of Lagos.
Ms. Dia said the francophone West African country was ready to partner with genuine investors to develop its major infrastructure, stressing that the country offers good returns on investments, due to its political and economic stability.
The new Blaise Diagne International Airport (DIASS), located some 50km from the capital city of Dakar, will be completed next year.
Other major infrastructure projects that investors could tap into include the construction of the 35-km Dakar-Diamniadio Toll Motorway, an integrated special economic zone at Diamniadio, as well as modernisation/rehabilitation and construction of eight new railway stations.
“We are planning to develop what we call Dakar integrated special economic zone…and we offer very attractive incentives. It will be a 50-hectare phase, and then extend to 718 hectares,” the official said, adding that the aim is to develop those infrastructure projects and also improve the business environment to make Senegal attractive and competitive.
APIX was set up in 2000, with a view to improving business environment, helping to create clusters of economic areas as well as job opportunities in the country.
Before APIX was established, it took 50 days to get a business approval and registration, but that time has now been shortened to 48 hours.
Senegal has a young and healthy population of 35 million growing at 2.5% per annum, with 58% of the population living in the rural areas.
The country also has one of the lowest HIV prevalence rate of 0.7% in the West African sub-region.
The country has had an average economic growth rate of 5% since 1994, maintains a single digit inflation rate (below 2% since 2007), as well as a stable and convertible currency (CFA Franc) pegged to the Euro.