The government of Senegal is laying the groundwork for a new city near the town of Diamniadio that is meant to ease congestion in the seaside capital, Dakar, home to almost a quarter of the country’s 14 million people.
With plans for a new airport nearby, a university, state ministries and a 50-hectare industrial park funded by China, it is the most ambitious infrastructure project yet by the president Macky Sall, who has pledged to double growth by 2020.
Mr Sall uses the slogan “Emerging Senegal” to define his policy of attracting foreign investment to reduce the country’s dependence on fishing, agriculture and tourism and make Senegal a hub for French-speaking West Africa.
An oil reserve off Senegal’s coast, that may produce as much as 100,000 barrels a day when it is fully developed, has been found.
Head of the state agency in charge of the Diamniadio project, Ousmane Kasse, said: “It is the first time we are developing a project of this size. We’re preparing the site, and making land available to investors who wish to come here.”
Diamniadio, a town of about 30,000 people, is expected to expand tenfold by 2018. The idea is to ease the urbanisation pressure on Dakar.
Senegal’s economy has been forecast by the IMF to expand at least 5 per cent this year, up from 4.5 per cent last year.
Source: The National