As a player in the economic and social development of Africa, the Bolloré Group is launching an ambitious project that aims to bridge the digital divide and develop the rail network in Niger.
The Bolloré Group manages several thousand kilometres of rail concessions in Africa. Drawing on its expertise, the Group is constructing the first railway in the history of Niger and energy-independent community facilities along the line for the Nigerien people to use.
Eventually, this will link Niger to the West African rail loop running from Abidjan to Cotonou, with a branch line to Lomé.
Given the scale of the project, the Bolloré Group is harnessing all its logistical resources and experience to make this partnership with the Nigerien government a success. The benefits that the railway brings to the local economy will be multiplied by the creation of Bluezones to provide electricity to regions currently cut off from the grid. Energy self-sufficient, lit, internet-connected and supplied with drinking water, these innovative spaces are intended to become development hubs for the people of Niger.
They will have access to a continuous stream of free services so that they can learn trades, study, and shape a career. These are just some of the opportunities which will help to improve the quality of life of local populations and help young people to achieve their potential. In order to offer reliable and functional community facilities, the Bolloré Group is using a completely innovative energy solution. In a country like Niger where energy infrastructure is still lacking, producing, storing and distributing electricity is a real challenge.
That is why the Group is developing an innovative energy system, the first of its kind in the world: thanks to LMP (Lithium Metal Polymer) storage batteries connected to solar panels, the Nigerien business hubs will be constantly supplied, day and night, with clean, inexhaustible and free electricity. These connected community spaces will give future users the chance to access new technology, education, healthcare and sports facilities.
Thanks to a series of partnerships with public bodies, charities, universities and a number of media organisations, these innovative spaces will be prime educational facilities destined to play a determining role in the future of young Nigeriens.
This Bolloré Group initiative is a natural fit with the Group’s comprehensive development policy for Africa. Every year for over 50 years, the Bolloré Group, driven by a long-term vision, has invested more than 200 billion CFA francs (€300m) in port, rail and logistics infrastructure.
At every step of the way in its future developments, the Bolloré Group will unlock every possible synergy between its activities in Bolloré Africa Logistics, Blue Solutions, and in the media and communications.