Lionel Zinsou: Togo’s reforms impressed "everyone in Europe"

Friday, 21 June 2019 11:42
Lionel Zinsou: Togo’s reforms impressed "everyone in Europe"

(Togo First) - On June 14, 2019, Lionel Zinsou, Benin’s former prime minister and managing partner at SouthBridge Group took part in a panel entitled “Togo, le centre d’affaires, d’investissement et de la haute finance émergente d’Afrique de l’Ouest” (Togo : The emerging business, investment and high finance hub in West Africa). This was on the second day of the first Togo-EU economic forum in Lomé.

During the panel, the former manager of the large investment fund in mainland Europe presented Togo’s comparative advantages.

According to him, the reforms operated since 2010 to modernize key infrastructures such as the Port of Lomé, have paid off.

Togo is exceptionally ahead on every subject related to maritime safety and blue economy,” Lionel Zinsou said.

He indicated that thanks to this advance, the country has comparative advantages to fulfil its ambition which is to make Togo a logistics and financial hub.

Lionel Zinsou said he was impressed by the way Togo matches words with actions.  

Togo says what it does and does what it says,” the Franco-Beninese said with satisfaction. He also revealed that the promptness in the implementation of those reforms “impresses everyone in Europe.”

These breakthroughs, the Afro-optimism’s flag-bearer attributes them to President Faure Gnassingbé’s leadership.

Port of Lomé is above all the president’s vision… It is only here and in Kribi that 8,000-container ships can be received,” he said.

Indeed, between 1968 (when the last wharf was dismantled in Lomé) and 2019, the port platform has become one of the most important transhipment ports in the sub-region.  

Port of Lomé is a good example because, in Lomé, there are people who have invested and will continue to invest billions of dollars in the port platform,” Lionel Zinsou said.

He advises Togolese authorities to also attract Mauritius banks, focus on professional training for financial services, promote bilingualism and strengthen infrastructures, in the telecommunications sector notably, to make the economy attractive.

As a keynote speaker for the panel, there was Ade Ayeyemi, Ecobank group’s managing director. The participants included Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former managing director of the IMF, and Ronke-Amoni Ogunsuliré, country manager at the IFC for the West African region. The exchanges were moderated by Paul-Harry Aithnard, managing director of Ecobank Côte d’Ivoire.

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