A Chinese and French company are going head on to secure a contract to upgrade the Gambia’s Atlantic seaport, a strategic gateway to mainland Africa.
A subsidiary of Chinese state-owned company, China Communications Construction Company made a bid for a $159.91 million Dollars (D6.39 billion Dalasis) to upgrade the Gambia’s seaport.
France’s Bollore Group has also submitted a bid and was part of French investors that met with Gambia’s President Adama Barrow.
“The Chinese are interested in investing in the infrastructure for an overall envelope of 140 million euros,” Abdoulie Tambedou, managing director of the Gambia Ports Authority told Reuters in an interview.
“We hope to agree on the financing in the next six months.”
China Construction and Ballote Group had been in talks with the previous government of Yahya Jammeh to help expand the seaport before his shocking election defeat.
Both nations stepped up their relations with The Gambia and France played an influential role in having President Adama Barrow installed.
China is a major market for Gambia’s exports, which globally are mainly peanuts, wood, cashews, fish, and fruit.
Gambia is seen as a key transit country for reaching remote areas of Guinea, Mali, and Senegal that are easier to access from Banjul than from the countries’ own ports and capitals.