he Government of Guinea, Africa50 and the Group Aéroports de Paris (ADP), signed a 25-year concession agreement to co-develop and finance the upgrade and expansion of Gbessia Conakry International Airport, during an official ceremony held in Conakry, in the presence of the President of the Republic of Guinea, Alpha Condé.
This event follows the signing on 3 February 2020 of the Shareholders Agreement under which partners agreed to establish the Société de Gestion de l’Aéroport de Gbessia (SOGEAG), the new concessionaire. SOGEAG is owned by the Government of Guinea (34%), Africa50 (33%) and ADP (33%).
The project consists in the construction and operation of a new terminal for international and domestic passengers and related infrastructure, including a cargo terminal, aprons, and taxiways. The new terminal will have a capacity of one million passengers a year, about twice its current capacity (traffic to be reached by 2031). Phase 1 of the project, estimated at €120 million, should begin this year.
ADP, a global player in airports development and operation will provide technical and operational know-how.
Africa50 will bring its project development and finance expertise on board and will act as a bridge between the Guinean government and the private investors.
The modernization of the airport will have a significant development impact, providing higher levels of service and safety for passengers and an expansion of economic activity. It should also lead to ICAO certification of the airport shortly after completion.
During the signing ceremony, the President of the Republic of Guinea, Alpha Condé reiterated that the project was a major priority for the country’s development agenda and commended the association of two benchmark players, an international firm and an African finance institution: « This project brings together two leading partners, the group ADP and Africa50, the pan-African investment fund created under the impetus of the African Development Bank» he said, before reaffirming his government’s full commitment to support the implementation of the project.
“The modernization and expansion of Gbessia International will be a radical change. The project will bring tremendous opportunities for the people of Guinea in terms of socio-economic opportunities. The project embodies the Guinean government’s commitment to build innovative and efficient infrastructure to support the country’s growth,” adds Aboubacar Sylla, State Minister of Transport of the Republic of Guinea.
“The signing of this concession agreement is the result of several months of negotiation between the parties and it will be possible to start the preliminary work immediately as the partners have already injected their initial equity into the project. We would like to acknowledge the expertise of our partners, Africa50 and Group ADP and commend them for their professionalism and support in the implementation of this important project,” said Hawa Keita Touré, SOGEAG Chairman of the Board.
“Upgrading Africa’s airports is essential to better link the continent to the world economy. Passenger numbers across the region are expected to grow by more than 5% per year by 2035 and Guinea is no exception. Our upgrade of Gbessia Conakry International Airport will ensure the attractiveness and efficiency of this important gateway to Guinea. This project is a great example of how Africa50 can use its project development expertise, capital and government relations to improve transportation infrastructure in Africa,” adds Koffi Klousseh, Director of Africa50 Project Development.
“The republic of Guinea and ADP have been working together for over 32 years and the signature of this agreement is a token of the friendship and the confidence as well as the ambition that they both share for Gbessia Conakry International Airport. For the group ADP, this airport is a fundamental investment in line with its development in Africa, at a time when the continent should see strong growth in its passenger traffic. It is our wish, with our partners, through the important investments that will be made, to turn this airport into a leading regional benchmark serving the Guinean population and the country’s economic development,” said Xavier Hurstel, Deputy Director General of the Group ADP.