Gabon has signed agreements with the Development Bank of Central African States (BDEAC) for loans on two major infrastructure projects totalling more than $200 million, the presidency said on Sunday.
The accords, which were signed on Friday, put up 51.6 billion CFA francs ($86 million) for the construction of a port in Owendo, close to the capital, jointly owned with Singapore-listed agricultural products group Olam International.
This port must assert itself as a major actor in the primary sector of Gabon
"This port must assert itself as a major actor in the primary sector of Gabon," read the presidency's statement. "(It) will improve the competitiveness of the country." The port is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2016.
A second agreement contributed an additional 75.6 billion CFA francs ($126 million) of financing to the construction of a major highway project connecting Libreville with towns in the rest of the country expected to be completed at the end of 2016.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde was in Cameroon last week, where she called for the six countries in the CEMAC bloc, which includes Gabon, to improve regional trade, which currently stands at 5 percent of formal trade.
Poor infrastructure has traditionally been a major hindrance to regional trade and highways connect only two of the six capitals included in the zone.