The Standard Chartered Bank announced a €104 million social loan financing for the Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire to rehabilitate a major transport route in the West African country’s south.
The funding would be used to upgrade a stretch of the ‘coastal’ road that connects the country’s two major port cities, Abidjan and San Pedro, over a 93-kilometer length between the towns of Dabou and Grand Lahou. The project comprises strengthening the drainage and wastewater network to reduce flooding risk, improve road safety, and reduce traffic congestion.
The project is being built by VINCI Construction, through its subsidiary Sogea-Satom, with finance provided by Bpifrance Assurance Export, the French Export Credit Agency. Standard Chartered structured the financing package in its positions as Global Co-ordinator and Structuring Bank, Social Loan Coordinator, Bookrunner, and Mandated Lead Arranger.
The financing is fully compliant with the Social Loan Principles, given the project’s objective of improving basic transport networks (categorized as affordable basic infrastructure). The project will also contribute toward meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 9, which relates to industry, innovation, and infrastructure, particularly in emerging markets.
This announcement comes at a time when San Pedro prepares to host the Africa Cup of Nations in 2023, which will attract many local and international visitors. The newly refurbished section of the roadway will help to improve the connection from Abidjan, the main point of entry for international travelers. In the long term, the rehabilitation of the coastal road will have a positive impact on the local economy, trade, and tourism.
Mustafa Sajjad Hussain, Structured Export Finance, Standard Chartered Bank, said: “We are proud to work with the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and Bpifrance Assurance Export once again, using our expertise in export credit financing to provide a Social Loan to rehabilitate critical infrastructure.”
John Mokom, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank Côte d’Ivoire, said: “Our involvement in the project is a prime example of Standard Chartered living up to its brand promise, here for good, and supporting our local communities.”
This transaction marks another significant ECA-supported term facility arranged by Standard Chartered for the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire. In the last eighteen months, the Bank has successfully structured several financing solutions to address the needs of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, including improving public transport in Abidjan and a network of maternity wards across Côte d’Ivoire.