The government of Niger led by President Mohamed Bazoum recently opened to traffic the 138 km Zinder-Tanout Road whose construction was launched back in January 2019 by President Mahamadou Issoufou, together with Denisa-Elena Lonette, ambassador of the European Union (EU) to the West African country.
Financed by the EU through the European Development Fund (EDF) to the tune of US$ 61.5M, the works were carried out in two lots namely the Zinder-Maï Bagari axis and the Maï Bagari-Tanout axis, which are respectively 40 kilometers and 98 kilometers long.
The first lot (from Zinder to Maï Bagari) was entrusted to Sogea Satom, a major player in the building and public works sector in the African continent while the second lot (from Maï Bagari to Tanout) was built by EGBTP (European General Public Works Building), a general building and public works company headquartered in Les Clayes-sous-Bois, France.
Significance of the road
The Zinder-Tanout Road is expected to have numerous benefits especially to the people residing along the road corridor.
For example, according to the EU Ambassador to Niger, it will not only facilitate travel, economic exchanges, the potential for development and employment, especially for young people but also access to basic services, administration, and other state services.
As part of the project, the neighboring communities have also benefited from the construction of other related social works such as rural roads, water supply, etc.
Noteworthy, the road infrastructure is a part of the Trans-Saharan Highway between Lagos and Algiers to be precise. The latter is a pharaonic project of 9,600 km that will eventually interconnect 6 countries (Tunisia, Algeria, Niger, Chad, Mali, and Nigeria).
In that case, the Zinder-Tanout Road is an essential corridor for the opening up of Niger, for its connectivity and its regional economic and commercial integration. It will also play a crucial part in the realization of the proposed African continental free trade area.