The success of Gabon special economic zone (GSEZ)

Created in 2010, GSEZ, the joint venture that brings together Olam International Ltd (40.5%), the Republic of Gabon (38.5%) and Africa Finance Corporation (21%) to develop the Nkok Special Economic Zone, today plays host to over 45 companies, mainly centred around logging.

The Gabonese State’s initial objective was to attract international investors. And the gamble paid off: most of the companies are foreign. At this time, 118 companies have started to operate in Gabon and 32 other companies have already committed to investing in the country. Today, 2,200 people work in the Nkok zone, which should boast around 180 factories in three years’ time.

On the back of this success, GSEZ has been entrusted with developing new infrastructure like the Owendo ore carrier terminal to support the mining industry, for a cost of USD 120 million. The project, which was inaugurated in 2016 with a capacity of 5 million MT, was completed swiftly in under two years. Since the beginning of the year, the terminal has managed over 1 million MT.

Finally, GSEZ is supporting the efforts to connect Gabon to electricity. The project currently being led by the Gabonese subsidiary of the Singaporean group includes the construction of high-voltage lines over 490 km and low-voltage lines over 170 km, which will enable 171 villages to be connected to electricity by 2018.