July 18, 2024
Senegal's new president cancels major contract signed by predecessor

Senegal's new president cancels major contract signed by predecessor

Newly Senegalese elected President Bassirou Diomaye Faye has cancelled a major contract signed by former President Macky Sall. The agreement, valued at over €700 million, involved the Saudi-based company Acwa Power, which was set to build and operate a seawater desalination plant near Lac Rose, east of the capital.

Cheikh Tidiane Dièye, Senegal’s Minister of Water, explained the decision, stating, “The terms of the contract do not favor Dakar’s interests, and the long-term environmental impacts and costs were not sufficiently considered.”

Since taking office in March, President Faye has been committed to reevaluating existing agreements in key sectors such as mining, oil, and gas. This recent action underscores his administration’s dedication to prioritizing Senegal’s long-term economic and environmental interests.

The cancelled desalination project was initially hailed as a solution to Dakar’s water scarcity issues, promising to provide a significant increase in the city’s potable water supply. However, concerns about the project’s sustainability and financial burden have now taken center stage.

Environmentalists and economists have raised red flags over the potential ecological damage that could result from the large-scale desalination process.

They point to the high energy consumption and the possible impact on marine life as critical factors that need thorough assessment.

Moreover, the financial model of the project came under scrutiny. Critics argued that the costs associated with building and maintaining the desalination plant would place a heavy burden on Senegal’s economy.

They stressed the importance of exploring more sustainable and cost-effective solutions to the country’s water crisis.

The cancellation has sparked mixed reactions within the country. Supporters of President Faye applaud the decision as a necessary step towards greater transparency and accountability in government contracts.

They see it as part of a broader effort to ensure that foreign investments align with national interests and sustainable development goals.

On the other hand, some stakeholders fear that this move could deter future foreign investments, potentially slowing down development projects crucial for Senegal’s growth.

They urge the government to provide clear guidelines and engage in constructive dialogues with international partners to rebuild trust.

President Faye’s administration has indicated its intention to seek alternative solutions that balance economic growth with environmental sustainability.

The government is expected to launch new initiatives aimed at addressing Dakar’s water needs while ensuring the protection of natural resources.

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