A US$12.6m loan agreement which was signed on Friday between the Government of Dominica and France will be used to finance the second phase of Lot two of the Airport Road Rehabilitation Project.
The airport project has been identified as one of the most important infrastructural projects in Dominica and supports government’s goal of enhancing the island’s road network.
Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, at the signing stated that this ceremony signals his administration’s commitment to complete and deliver on this project.
“The government that I lead has made the point of duty of ensuring that all infrastructure required to make Dominica more competitive will be addressed.”
The initial project was designed as one project from Canefield to Melville Hall Airport but due to additional works and the increasing cost of construction it was later divided into two lots.
The first lot of the project, the Canefield to Pond Casse road has already been completed and the second lot was later divided into two phases. The first phase included the rehabilitation of the carriage way, excavation and widening and resealing works.
The loan agreement signed on Friday will be used to finance the second phase which includes the rehabilitation and reconstruction of bridges. Provisions will be made to address concerns in Wet Area in Belle’s and Antrim.
“There are aspects of the works done as part of the ongoing phase which were not anticipated and which will be funded with the resources from this loan. As with all loans contracted by this government, we have sought the best possible terms... the [terms] are entirely consistent with the objectives of our debt strategy. We are indeed grateful to the government of France for this facility and for offering us concessional terms. In the midst of the ongoing global crisis for which France is not an exception, we want to thank the Government of France for coming forward at this time with the resources and with this global crisis I am sure that your government has many other uses for this US$12m but it’s because of [the] commitment of the French Government to global development and economic activity and growth, you have seen it necessary to provide my government, my people with this very important loan to implement a very important project that will enhance our ability to attract investors and tourists and improve the safety of the road for our own nationals.”
The Prime Minister furthered stated that the French Government is Dominica’s true partner in developmental areas.
“Our partnership with the French has lasted a very long time. For those of us who know, in education, healthcare, in air access improvement, in road improvement, the French government and people have been our true partners and notwithstanding the French are a major contributor to the EU budget; we still have very strong bilateral cooperation existing between our two countries and for this we are very grateful. We look forward to the continued partnership far into the future as we seek to strengthen these bonds not just with Dominica but with the OECS.”
The funds were secured through the L’Agence Francaise de Developpement, a French public institution which provides development financing.
AFD is a specialized financial institution that finances sustainable development projects carried by government local authorities, public companies, and the private and associative sectors on five continents.
French Ambassador to Dominica H.E Michel Prom says AFD is a central figure in France’s official development assistance system.
“Dominica is a country in the Eastern Caribbean where the French Agency for Development is most deeply involved. That shows a partnership of mutual confidence between our two countries and particularly the confidence granted to the AFD. We share in fact the same view that this project is very important for Dominica and for the regional cooperation. The road will secure the communication within the island and will also favour the visitor from abroad, I am one of them. This financing aims at strengthening the security long term. We hope that works already done, which are very encouraging will be achieved in the shortest delay.”