Concession contracts in African aviation [Cape Verde]

African governments have resorted to concession contracts to pool the resources needed to upgrade and develop their damaged airport infrastructure.

Concession contracts are instruments used to provide services or to build infrastructure. These involve a contractual agreement between a public authority and an economic operator (concessionaire) whereby the concessionaire provides services or performs works and is remunerated for being able to exploit the work or service.

In July 2022, the Republic of Cape Verde (Cape Verde), situated off the coast of West Africa, signed a 40-year concession agreement with VINCI Airports (a French company), which will be responsible for financing, operating, maintaining , expansion and modernization of seven airports in the Cape Verde archipelago from mid-2023.

The contract covers four international airports (the capital Praia, Sal, São Vicente and Boa Vista) and three domestic airports (São Nicolau, São Filipe and Maio). As the agreement is the first of its kind for Cape Verde, it aims to boost Cape Verde’s economic growth and expand its tourism industry.

With an estimated population of over 500,000 people, Cape Verde has a thriving tourism sector. Between 2010 and 2019, air traffic increased by an average of 5.6% each year and the country recorded a number of passengers reaching 2.8 million.

Cape Verde’s tourist traffic reached 80% of 2019 levels in the second quarter of 2022.

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