Inaugurated with great fanfare on June 6, 2021 by the Head of State Faure Gnassingbé, the Adétikopé Industrial Platform (PIA) celebrates its first anniversary this year. A year after its commissioning, this flagship of the Togolese government’s economic policy is proving effective in view of the satisfactory results recorded.
Signatures of agreement, recruitment of personnel and installation of companies. This is what sums up the last 12 months of activities on the Industrial Platform of Adétikopé (PIA) today become the den par excellence of factories, industrial hangars, warehouses and modern industrial buildings never built in Togo before. Construction work is continuing on the site, in strict compliance with environmental and social standards. “We are at 99% execution of the work on the site. By September, we will finalize everything,” said Géraud Tibou, environment, health and safety manager at PIA.
Located north of Lomé, about 27 km from the port of the Togolese capital, this 400-hectare platform is a true free zone. In terms of security, the PIA officials did not skimp on the means. Already at the main entrance, a welcoming committee composed mainly of security guards is dedicated to the task. On the site, all the provisions are made to create a business ecosystem, especially with regard to the protection of users of the platform.
“Since the development of the platform, we have done a lot of construction activities which are high risk activities. We are proud to say that the project is at this stage without registering any major incidents. There are controls that have been put in place, there are a lot of things that have been done in terms of supervising the contractors working on the site. In terms of protective equipment, the PIA does not skimp on the means to put in place the necessary protection so that workers can work in good conditions and return home safe and sound at the end of the day. Because we want to set up a business ecosystem in which the people who work here can flourish without finding themselves in difficult situations of serious injury or loss of life. All of the construction work done here is high risk activity, but we have done it without major incidents. This means that there is a certain control, a certain rigor and a certain good practice that is implemented to achieve these results,” added Géraud Tibou.
The ambition of the Togolese government is to make the integrated industrial platform of Adétikopé an industrial hub, a reference in the countries of the sub-region and in Africa.
To promote socio-economic development, the improvement of the standard and quality of life of the populations and that the activities within the area are carried out in an ethical and sustainable manner, the infrastructure has its own waste treatment, a police station, a fire station and a one-stop administrative counter bringing together all the services and agencies required (for company registration, tax, customs, immigration, etc.) available to investors and economic operators.
Various partnerships entered into
Since its official inauguration, the PIA has signed several agreements with technical and financial partners, notably the IFC, the World Bank, the AfDB, the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), the Fund for the development of exports in Africa ( FEDA), Coris Bank international Togo (CBI-Togo), MIFA SA (Incentive mechanism for agricultural financing), ITRA (Togolese Institute of Agronomic Research, with a view to acquiring seeds of the TGX1910-14F variety to supply the soybean value chain) and the MAERSK LINE Group. It has also signed a partnership with the telecom operator Togocom for the deployment of 5G and Togolese operators in the woods.
Gradual installation of businesses and companies
Over the past 12 months, several activities have been carried out on the site. Everything is combined for the realization of the government’s vision, that of making this modern industrial park, a lever to put Togo on the track of industrialization.
The platform already houses a few companies, including “Togo Agro Resources SAU” specializing in agribusiness. This company plans to acquire 60 tons of soybean seeds for the 2021-2022 agricultural campaign. There is also “M Auto Electric Mobility”, which started its electric vehicle manufacturing activities on the site in September 2021. “Togo Wood Industries Sarl”, which excels in wood processing, and which today employs around a hundred young Togolese. We also note the presence of “Togo Clothing Company” specialized in the textile sector.
Togo Wood Industries Sarl
Other industries with high economic potential, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, packaging and recycling are announced on the site. They are attracted by the favorable tax system put in place by the Togolese authorities.
Textile, a promising sector
Precisely with regard to the textile sector, the officials of the PIA are constantly mobilizing resources. Last February, they launched the recruitment of 1,000 young Togolese between the ages of 18 and 30 and a level of education between the 4th grade and the baccalaureate.
“The first waves of young Togolese recruits are already benefiting from a training course in the textile trade. They are 90 in total. They are trained by experts from India and Sir Lanka. After a few weeks of training, they manage to make knitwear and T-shirts themselves. So it is these 90 trainers who will train the operators that we are recruiting this month of June. By November, we will have 1000 operators, but in the long term we plan to go up to 20,000 operators or direct or indirect employees. These young operators after their training will then be integrated into the textile industry within the PIA”, confided Bagaram Badayo Ernest, in charge of Payroll and Personnel Administration-Textile.
The dry port, the heavy-duty car park already operational
One of the characteristics that makes the Adétikopé Industrial Platform a world-class industrial zone and integrated logistics services is its dry port, which has a container storage capacity equivalent to 12,500 TEUs. It will relieve congestion in the autonomous port of Lomé and its arteries. This dry port is specially dedicated to containers in transit to the countries of the Sahel.
The activities of the PIA Dry Port began in August 2021 with the receipt of 4 containers planned to assess and optimize the storage processes. But it is since January 2022 that operations have actually started on this dry port. “On average, 300 containers have been processed to date. But our long-term objective is to reach a container storage capacity equivalent to 12,500 TEUs. I believe that the path is traced for the achievement of this objective, the whole team of the Dry Port is working hard to achieve this objective and to satisfy our customers”, indicated the Coordinator of Operations at the Dry Port of PIA.
The new terminal stands out as a real strategic asset of the Port of Lomé with the aim of strengthening trade with the countries of the hinterland. It thus contributes to making Togo the leading logistics hub in West Africa.
The truck parking lot is also operational and accommodates large carriers from the hinterland. With a simultaneous capacity of 500 trucks, this car park has already registered more than 2,000 trucks and has helped relieve traffic congestion in the city of Lomé since the inauguration of the PIA.
PIA: An industrial zone providing jobs
35,000 direct and indirect jobs is the objective set by the government. And the PIA has already launched maneuvers in this direction. A year after its opening, the platform has generated around 2,030 direct and indirect jobs. And recruitment is still ongoing.
In order to further professionalize the staff working in the various facilities, there are plans to build a professional center dedicated in particular to industry and agro-industry professions. The first bases were also laid last April, with the provision of land by the government.
As a reminder, the Adétikopé Industrial Platform (PIA), located on an area of 400 hectares north of the capital, is the result of a partnership between the Togolese State and the company Arise IIP, a subsidiary of the ARISE group specializing in the development of industrial ecosystems. This is a government project designed on the PPP (Public Private Partnership) model.