China has new projects in Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde

11 January 2016

The Chinese authorities and companies from China are launching new projects in Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), in areas such as fisheries, tourism and the media, which promise closer relations with the Portuguese-speaking countries of West Africa.

The Guinean Prime Minister, Carlos Correia, last week held an audience with the Ambassador of China, Wang Hua, and both discussed a Chinese project to invest over US$300 million, in addition to establishing a free trade zone in the southern Biombo region.

“The purpose [of the new projects] is to implement the spirit of the China-Africa Summit” ​​held in December in Johannesburg, targeting “within” three years lead to a new level the cooperation in agriculture, industry, education, health , infrastructure, culture and other areas, “thus boosting socio-economic development, says note the office of the Head of the Guinean government.

In a week when a group of businesspeople and investors from China visited Guinea-Bissau, the statement added that the prime minister and ambassador, accompanied by the Secretary of State for International Cooperation and Communities, Suzi Barbosa, reviewed bilateral cooperation for 2016.

The US$300 million project, sponsored by Fujian Shai Corp, aims to build a fishing complex and a luxurious five-star hotel in Prabis, 18 kilometres southwest of Bissau.

According to statements from the president of the Chinese company, Yang Ming, thee are also plans to build a fishing port to unload the fish and for reconstruction of the road between Bissau to that location. These projects are expected to create 3,000 direct jobs.

Also last week, a contract worth US$60 million was reported to have been signed by Guinea-Bissau Telecom and telecommunications manufacturer Huawei, with a view to re-launching mobile network coverage by installing 150 signal relay stations equipped with the latest technology.

Huawei clarified later, through its representative in Bissau, that “at the moment” there was no contract, but stressed, however, its “great interest” in establishing a “good partnership” with the State Secretariat for Transport and Communications that will contribute to the modernisation efforts of that Guinean sector.

China’s involvement is most visible in the construction of public infrastructure and also in agriculture, cashew cultivation and a training centre where technical training is provided to local farmers.

In Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), the Director-General of Social Communication, Justino Miranda, spoke last week of China’s interest in financing the new headquarters of public media company, Rádio Televisão de Cabo Verde e Inforpress (RTCI), with the Cape Verdean government this year due to present a detailed project for construction to begin in 2017.

Miranda stressed at the time that cooperation with China had borne fruit for the sector through the distribution of computer equipment and training and is expected this month to donate equipment worth about US$1 million. (macauhub/CN/GW)