Ivory Coast Opens Urban Water Transport To Investors

Ivory Coast Opens Urban Water Transport To Investors

Reporting by Joe Bavier  | From Reuters

Ivory Coast abolished a state monopoly on passenger traffic on the lagoon surrounding the commercial capital Abidjan, the government announced on Wednesday, clearing the way for outside investors.

Abidjan, a city of around 6 million inhabitants, straddles the Ebrie Lagoon. The SOTRA urban transportation company, majority-owned by the state with a minority interest held by Italian bus manufacturer Iveco, runs several water-taxi lines.

Government spokesman Bruno Kone said the waterways had been under-utilised.

“This will allow other entities to make major investments,” Bruno said after a cabinet meeting. “This will help ease road traffic and reduce travel times.”

He also announced the approval of an agreement between the transportation ministry and Rainbow Ferry Lines, a joint venture between Ivory Coast’s Snedai Group and the Turkish industrial conglomerate Yildirim Group.

Rainbow Ferry Lines, the country’s first private water-taxi operator, is due to invest around 20 billion CFA francs ($35 million) to purchase new passenger vessels and construct new quays.

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