Gabon Special Economic Zone
Special economic zones
GuarantCo partnered with the Gabon Special Economic Zone (GSEZ), a joint venture between Olam International, African Finance Corporation and the Government of Gabon, to finance logistics infrastructure which will support the country’s industrial competitiveness and build a business-friendly ecosystem. GuarantCo provided a XAF 33.5 billion guarantee which is the first tranche of a total XAF 85.9 billion (USD 147.3 million) guarantee to credit enhance a corporate bond being issued to finance GSEZ’s investment in logistics infrastructure which will support the NKOK Special Economic Zone and by extension support the forestry industry and improve the national railway service capacity.
This bond, a first of its kind, will be eventually subscribed to by a combination of local banks and institutional investors when the programme is completed. For many of the latter this is the first non-government bond that they had invested in and GuarantCo’s role in the transaction included helping to educate the market.
GSEZ provides critical infrastructure to companies in Gabon which would otherwise not be able to develop it themselves, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which are key to creating economic activity and employment.
The project will not only benefit Gabon but also the wider CEMAC region and Francophone Africa; supporting the rail logistics capacity to increase efficiency and scale of trade. It will generate employment as well as the acceleration of the country’s economic transformation.