Benin to attract $760m in investments

The African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) has expressed its readiness to support Benin with an estimated $760 million (FCFA 467 billion) worth of investments and trade projects.

This is to support the government’s agenda to attract more investments by providing a substitute to government guarantees and providing products to protect investors, it has said.

Benin is encouraging investments and public private partnerships to address many of its current challenges – rapid urbanization which has sprouted many others.

Cotonou the country’s capital has ballooned from a population of 150,000 in 1960 to three million today and this has led to a need for better infrastructure such as roads and housing and a need to stabilise environmental stresses, it said in a press release.

With this investment, ATI is confident that it could have a real impact on Benin’s economic development.

“It is important for the business community and government agencies in Benin to understand that ATI provides a comprehensive solution. For example, if the energy ministry wants to attract world-class power producers, the government will typically need to provide security. This is where ATI can step in to protect the investor against risks that include non-payment by the government. This type of security and peace of mind is crucial for most international companies and investors,” George Otieno, the CEO of ATI was quoted as saying in the release.

In 2013, Benin became the first West African country to join ATI, a pan-African institution that provides political, investment and commercial risk insurance products. ATI offers many benefits to its African member countries including helping governments to attract more private investments into public sector projects such as infrastructure, to access credit on favourable terms, to offer an alternative to government guarantees, which helps to reduce the country’s debt load, ameliorate the impacts of climate change through investments, and, importantly, ATI provides comfort to financial partners interested in investing in Africa.

By Pamela Ofori-Boateng

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