Côte d’Ivoire transport sector gets a boost with new bus production

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In Côte d’Ivoire, authorities announced another step forward in boosting the economy through its transport sector.

Beginning Monday, the company’s SOTRA bus services — working in partnership with Italian manufacturer IVECO —will start production of new minibuses. The government’s agreements with the private sector firms call for 1,000 of the 26-seat minibuses to be made each year.

The vehicles also can be configured as ambulances, refrigerated vans, or utility trucks for transporting materials and various goods. Most of them are meant to be used in Côte d’Ivoire on its urban Gbaka and interurban Massa lines, but some of the vehicles will be destined for other West and Central African nations.

The existing assembly line, built in 2018, is fully operational and at least 500 new jobs are planned for the project.

“The realization of this project highlights the efforts to modernize the transport sector undertaken by the President of the Republic, Alassane Ouattara,” said Amadou Koné, the Ivorian transport minister.

“This project shows that Côte d’Ivoire is back. It shows our commitment to ensure that the transport sector ensures safety and comfort for all users and is a clean, modern sector, and carrier of innovative jobs for young people.”

Last year, Côte d’Ivoire saw its sales of new vehicles grow by 57%, officials said. The increase is the largest since plans to boost the transport and manufacturing sectors were launched in 2017.