Scania has signed an agreement with the Ivorian Ministry of Transport and SOTRA, the Abidjan Transport Company, to deliver 450 buses. The bus delivery forms part of a major initiative to upgrade SOTRA’s fleet and improve public transport in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
“With this agreement, Scania further strengthens its position in West Africa as a provider of sustainable solutions for urban mobility,” says Anna Carmo e Silva, Head of Buses and Coaches at Scania. “Over the past few years, Scania has successfully participated in improving urban mobility in Ghana and Nigeria. Based on that experience, we now look forward to a long-term partnership in providing better public transport services also in Abidjan.” The agreement includes upgrading bus depots and vocational training of drivers and service technicians.
Scania will supply 400 low-entry 13-metre buses and 50 18-metre articulated buses, bodybuilt by Marcopolo. The articulated buses will be fuelled by compressed gas. The buses will partly be deployed along the Boulevard Latrille Bus Rapid Transit system, which will form part of a future BRT system in Abidjan. It is estimated that the population of Greater Abidjan will increase to 7.7 million by 2030. By expanding public transport services through BRT, the aim is that two-thirds of the residents in 2030 will have access to the city centre within an hour.
A group of Swedish and French companies and institutions are presently engaged in sustainable public transport initiatives in Abidjan. Team Sweden with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Business Sweden, Swedfund, the Swedish Export Credit Agency, EKN, and the Swedish Export Credit Corporation, SEK, have supported with capacity building and financing.
“I am really pleased that we have taken the first step in this important effort and I am looking forward to an even closer collaboration between Sweden and Côte d’Ivoire,” says Maria Leissner, Ambassador of Sweden to Côte d’Ivoire.
“Côte d’Ivoire has demonstrated an impressive economic growth these recent years and has now started investing in a stronger infrastructure for continued growth. This is evidence of the higher investment activity I see in the whole region of West Africa with an increased attention from Swedish companies,” says Anthonia Adenaya Huard, Regional Director for West Africa at Business Sweden who has been working with this collaboration since 2015.
Scania, in collaboration with Agence Nationale d'Appui au Développement Rural (ANADER), has initiated a feasibility study funded by Swedfund, the Swedish Development Finance Institution, to assess the opportunities for producing local biofuels from agricultural waste from cocoa, rubber and banana cultivation. Côte d’Ivoire is by far the world’s largest cocoa producer.