Sao Tome government moves ahead with new port and airport, despite financial difficulties

11 May 2006

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 11 May – The new government of Sao tome and Principe has said it will go ahead with the construction of a new deepwater port on the archipelago and the new airport, despite acknowledging that the country’s current financial situation is a difficult one.

The minister of Public Works, Delfim Neves, told Sao Tome daily newspaper Tela Non that the government was concluding the project for the deepwater port, which is expected to be the biggest public work ever carried out on the archipelago, to begin, “within a few weeks ” the international promotion of the port, in search of investors.

After the promotion, he said, the government will go ahead with an international public tender for the work, which has an estimated cost of US$76 million.

Neves also said the government would launch an international promotion campaign for the other large public work that the archipelago has in mind, Sao Tome’s new international airport.

Within a month, he said, the refurbishment work on the road linking Sao Tome and the Cruzeiro area, the dilapidated state of which has led to electoral boycotts by the local population.

Neves acknowledged that his Ministry’s situation was “difficult” and that the public works and infrastructure sector “is completely unorganized” and “requires a lot of courage and political will.”

Amongst the initiatives underway, using donors such as Libya, which was visited by Sao Tome’s president last week, is a request made to Angola to extend the deadline for payment of a US$5 million debt, which should be paid off in the next few months. (macauhub)