West Africa’s world-beating reserves of iron ore and bauxite have put multi-user shared infrastructure projects back on the table. This is one of the highlights of the first ever market intelligence report from AME Trade, a content-led events company promoting trade and investment in emerging African markets.
There are, for course, still numerous organisational and regulatory challenges to overcome. First and foremost, says Ismaël Diakité, Chief Representative & Deputy Managing Director at Winning Consortium Simandou, is the need for a statutory regulatory body to oversee these complex projects.
Malick N’Diaye, Deputy CEO, Guinea Alumina Corporation, who was also interviewed, would welcome a third-party operator. “Managing rail infrastructure should not be part of our business. We are a mining company and ultimately, our goal is to mine and put more bauxite on the ship,” he says.
The Republic of Guinea is leading the charge for multi-user projects, as the report highlights, since 2016, $25 billion has been invested in the country’s projects, including in the giant Simandou iron ore project.
The report also details some of the wide-ranging projects planned for the Guinea’s northwest Boke prefecture, as well as case studies from neighbouring Senegal and Liberia.
In the short term, Covid-19 may have put the brakes on, with a likely contraction of GDP of up to 4.3% in 2020, according to the African Development Bank. However, as Stéphane Brabant, head of the Africa practice at international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, points out: “These are 25 year projects. Of course, there are opportunities for people with a long term view but sustainable projects have never been more important.”
38 pages – Contents:
1. Republic of Guinea Leading the Way
A. Milestones from the Ministry of Mines & Geology, Republic of Guinea
B. A Corporate View: The Case for Sharing
C. The Case for Sustainable Regional Development
• Boké: Lessons from the Bauxite Boom
• Simandou: Unlocking Potential
2. Liberia: A Frontier Opportunity
3. Senegal: Steel Focus for 2021
4. A legal lens
Conclusion, Credits & Thanks