Côte d’Ivoire’s government has secured an export credit agency (ECA)-backed social loan agreement that will support the renovation of a coastal road linking two major port cities.
The €104mn deal with Standard Chartered will fund improvements to a 93km stretch of road between the economic capital Abidjan and San Pedro, including upgrading of the drainage and wastewater network to reduce flooding risks.
France’s Bpifrance Assurance Export is covering the loan, with Côte d’Ivoire having selected a subsidiary of French infrastructure developer Vinci Construction, Sogea-Satom, as the project contractor.
Standard Chartered serves as global co-ordinator and structuring bank, as well as social loan co-ordinator and bookrunner. Meanwhile, it is also acting as a mandated lead arranger alongside Kommunalkredit Austria.
“This announcement comes at a time when San Pedro prepares to host the Africa Cup of Nations in 2023, which will attract many local and international visitors,” Standard Chartered says in a statement.
“The newly refurbished section of the roadway will help to improve the connection from Abidjan, a main point of entry for international travellers. In the long term, the rehabilitation of the coastal road will have a positive impact on the local economy, trade and tourism.”
The bank says the agreement is “fully compliant” with the Social Loan Principles (SLP), given its objective of improving the African country’s basic transport network, as well as its contribution towards meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 9, which relates to industry, innovation and infrastructure.
Launched in May last year, the SLP are a set of of voluntary recommended guidelines for lending that mitigates social issues and challenges or achieves positive social outcomes. They were produced by the Loan Market Association (LMA), Asia Pacific Loan Market Association (APLMA) and the Loan Syndications and Trading Association (LSTA).
Standard Chartered signed an ECA-backed financing agreement with the government of Côte d’Ivoire for the refurbishment of maternity wards in dozens of hospitals in July 2021.
The month prior, the bank served as the bookrunner, mandated lead arranger, structuring bank, social loan co-ordinator, original lender and agent on a deal funding the development of a highway corridor in Ghana.