Air and sea transport undergoes transformation in Cabo Verde

With the privatisation process of the TACV airline finally launched, the Cape Verdean government is also preparing to make important changes in maritime transport, in a process that is being followed with interest by China.

The current Cape Verdean government recently cancelled international tenders for the sub-concession of the Cabnave (São Vicente) shipyards, granted by the previous government to Portuguese group ETE, as well as the main ports in the country, which had been partially granted to French group Bolloré.

The Africa Monitor Intelligence newsletter said that in addition to pressures from Cape Verdean entrepreneurs, demonstrations of foreign interest, notably from China, led to the signing of an agreement with Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) to build a Special Economic Zone on the island of São Vicente.

This SEZ would include Cabnave’s shipyards to ensure, in addition to the provision of logistics services, the repair and maintenance of its fishing vessels operating on the west coast of Africa, the newsletter said.

The tender for the sub-concession of ports of Praia and Mindelo ports, won by French multinational group Bolloré, was also challenged by national business people.

After setting up a partnership with Spanish airline Binter to operate the domestic flights of TACV, which is already in operation, in the second week of August the government also proceeded with the privatisation process of TACV International, signing and international operation management contract with Loftleidir Icelandic.

The Icelandic airline will apply a new business model to TACV International, providing for the expansion of routes and consolidation of Cabo Verde as a platform for air operations in the mid-Atlantic.

Additions to the fleet and opening new routes should increase interest in the company, with a view to future privatisation, with the Icelandair itself taking a stake.

The management contract will last for one year, renewable for an equal period, if privatisation does not take place before.

TACV has survived only thanks to capital injections by the Cape Verdean governments and its privatisation was a requirement of the country’s international partners.

The Cape Verdean government also intends to allocate around 100 million euros with the privatization of 23 state-owned and/or part state-owned companies.

The lot to be privatised or restructured includes power company Electra, information society company Núcleo Operacional para a Sociedade de Informação, CV Telecom, the Cabnave shipyards, port manager Enapor, airport manager Aeroportos e Segurança Aérea, Cabo Verde Fast Ferry, CV Handling, Imobiliária, Fundiária e Habitat (IFH) and pharma company Emprofac.

Also included in the list are water and power company Água e Energia da Boavista, fuel company Enacol, postal company Correios de Cabo Verde, Atlantic Tuna, soap maker Sociedade Cabo-verdiana de Sabões, forestry company Sociedade Nacional de Engenharia Rural e Florestas (Sonerf), the Stock Exchange, venture capital firm A Promotora, tourism school Escola de Hotelaria e Turismo and tourism development company Sociedade de Desenvolvimento Turístico das Ilhas da Boa Vista e Maio. (macauhub)