The Government of The Gambia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Africa50, the pan-African infrastructure investment platform, for the Senegambia Bridge to be considered for Africa50’s Asset Recycling Programme.
Asset Recycling is an innovative initiative for governments to monetize existing infrastructure assets through a concession to the private sector with funds received being reinvested in other priority projects.
Under the contemplated scheme, Africa50, together with a technical partner, are expected to manage and operate the Senegambia Bridge under a PPP scheme.
Africa50 as the lead concessionaire plans to engage leading infrastructure investors to join the consortium which will bring on board its expertise to ensure proper maintenance of the bridge infrastructure and improvement of the toll collection system leading to strong operational performance. In addition, Africa50 will engage leading capital providers to raise the financing needed to fund the upfront capital requirement by the government of The Gambia.
Opened in January 2019, the bridge is an economic and strategic link connecting the northern and southern parts of both The Gambia and Senegal, and by extension, ECOWAS countries through the corridor between Dakar and Lagos, Trans–West African Coastal Highway.
The construction of the bridge, along with two border posts were largely financed by the African Development Bank Group and were inaugurated by Presidents Adama Barrow of The Gambia and Macky Sall of Senegal.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs of The Gambia, Seedy K. M. Keita said, “We are happy to be one of the first countries to participate in Africa50’s Asset Recycling Programme. We believe the initiative will support The Gambia in its post-Covid-19 recovery and enhance resilience as well as fast-track the development of key infrastructure in the country. Our objective is to use the resources to be obtained from the Senegambia Bridge to develop other critical infrastructure that will benefit the people of The Gambia and support a vibrant economy”.
“We are thrilled to include the historic Senegambia Bridge in our Asset Recycling Programme. At Africa50, we see Asset Recycling as a game-changer that helps governments raise funds from the private sector to accelerate the delivery of infrastructure. It effectively ensures that capital invested in existing infrastructure is freed up and used in financing new productive assets, without adding to public debt. This is an initiative Africa50, with the support of the African Development Bank, has been advocating for African countries to adopt and we are pleased they are seeing the value it brings to their development agenda”, Alain Ebobissé, Chief Executive Officer of Africa50 commented.