IVORY COAST: Commerzbank and Investec mobilise €178m for rural water

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IVORY COAST: Commerzbank and Investec raise €178m for rural water © KAWEESTUDIO/Shutterstock

The banks Investec and Commerzbank have granted a loan of €178 million to the Ivorian government. The financing is intended for the construction of drinking water supply systems in rural areas of Ivory Coast.

The Ivorian government has received new funding to improve access to drinking water in rural areas. 178 million loan from the German bank Commerzbank and Investec, an asset management company based in Sandton, South Africa. Acting as lead arranger for the loan, Commerzbank is providing €152 million to the Ivorian Ministry of Finance. The loan from the Frankfurt-based bank is covered by Swiss Export Risk Insurance (SERV), Switzerland’s export credit agency, and reinsured by the Dutch government’s Atradius Dutch State Business.

Investec is providing €26 million. The funds will be reallocated by the Ivorian Ministry of Finance to the Rimon Group, which won the contract to design, supply and build (EPC) drinking water supply systems at at least 111 sites in rural areas. The Caesarea, Israel-based company had committed itself to the Ivorian government to ensure the mobilisation of the necessary financing for the construction of these waterworks. Rimon accomplished this task with the help of Bluebird Finance & Projects, a financial institution based in Haifa, Israel.

A Water for All initiative

The water supply systems, which should be operational by 2024, consist of boreholes, treatment systems, water towers and pipes for the distribution of drinking water.  According to the Israeli company, this essential service will benefit 1.3 million people by the end of the works. This number is expected to increase to 2.15 million by 2030, according to Bluebird Finance & Projects.

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The commissioning of these water supply systems “will reduce illnesses associated with contaminated drinking water, improve hygiene standards and extend life expectancy, create employment opportunities during construction and encourage associated commercial and social activities during operation,” says Brian Irvine, head of structured debt and trade finance at Investec.

This high-impact sanitation project is being implemented under the Water for All programme. Implemented by the Ivorian government since 2020, this initiative aims to achieve universal access to safe drinking water by 2030. With the support of service providers and financial institutions, Ivory Coast currently has a drinking water access rate of 70% in rural areas and 80% in urban areas, according to official figures.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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