18th Mar 2019

Grande Mayumba Development Company signs Port Convention Agreement with OPRAG

Visionary PPP to develop over 630,000 ha in Gabon based on climate-smart, integrated sustainable land use plan

Libreville, 18 March 2019 – The Grande Mayumba Development Company reached a major milestone today following the signature of the Grande Mayumba Port Company Convention together with OPRAG (Organisation des Ports et Rades du Gabon), the ports regulator.

The Grande Mayumba Development Company is a public-private partnership formed between the Republic of Gabon and SFM Africa Limited (SFM Africa) to consolidate and develop a forest land area of 631,100 ha and a marine area of 260,900 ha in Nyanga Province in southern Gabon. The site will be developed on the basis of an ecologically sound and economically optimal long-term land management plan, the Grande Mayumba Sustainable Development Plan, which includes the creation of new businesses in the Grande Mayumba area and a significant area explicitly set aside for conservation and community forest.

These businesses will execute integrated, inclusive, verifiable strategies for achieving social, environmental and economic sustainability in the project area through the securitisation of environmental rights and natural resource values attributable to the land. There are six primary components to the project: forestry, timber processing, agribusiness, fisheries, ecotourism and infrastructure development.

The Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations du Gabon (CDC Gabon) is a strategic partner to the Grande Mayumba Development Company as the long-term development goals and sustainable nature of the project reflect CDC Gabon’s mandate to finance the development of high-quality commercial projects and catalyse inclusive economic growth and accelerate diversification.

Grande Mayumba will play a significant role in supporting Gabon’s vision to be a leader in sustainable development in the Congo Basin and in Africa and to serve as a model for principled green growth. By mapping the forest cover, assessing carbon storage capacity, auditing biodiversity and adopting a holistic approach to community, environmental and conservation rights, the Grande Mayumba Development Company will be a globally significant project in terms of innovation in climate-smart, sustainable development.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, SFM Africa Chairman Alan Bernstein commented “Gabon’s natural resources are world class and Grande Mayumba will put people and nature at the heart of development. With all land rights, regulatory permits and licenses in place and a strong partnership with the Gabonese Republic, we now have a robust foundation and clear road map to develop the project. We have completed rigorous R&D over the past 2 years, building critical local knowledge to complement our industry-leading expertise in sustainable investment and land use planning. The project has been thoughtfully designed through a process of broad consultation over a number of years to ensure it delivers for all stakeholders, which means we are well positioned now to execute at pace.”

Director General of OPRAG, Mr. Landry Regis Laccruche Lelabou, noted

“the development of the Mangali lagoon wharf will enable southern Gabon to benefit from accelerated economic development by providing high quality, cheaper and more reliable logistics and access.”

The public service port convention signed today with OPRAG concerns a lagoon port facility near Mayumba, which is required for GMDC’s project development roll-out. The port infrastructure will be developed in phases in collaboration with OPRAG. Investments will start immediately to open a marine gateway to and from Mayumba, which will be made available to any parties wishing to use the infrastructure for development in southern Gabon.

President of the Board, Mr. Pierre Reteno Ndiaye, concluded by noting “his Excellency, President Ali Bongo Ondimba, is committed to ensuring that the social and economic development and upliftment of our country and our people includes a focus on the southern part of Gabon and will benefit not only the whole territory, but also the broader region”.

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