concerns about the possible takeover of Bangui Airport

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Asecnatire’s workers’ union is sounding the alarm when the government wants to hand over the management and renovation of this airport to the Turkish group Damnus. They fear that their jobs will disappear.

Asecna representatives [l’Agence pour la sécurité de la navigation aérienne en Afrique], members of the Commission set up by the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation to “analyze the relevance of this contract” have just warned the Minister. For them, the agreement runs counter to the interests of the workers in the sector, but also above all to the Central African Republic.

The agreement does not refer to the staff at Asecna, which so far manages Bangui International Airport. No word also on the workers from many other companies involved in the sector. “This is about 250 jobs that risk disappearing overnight,” worries one of the staff representatives.

A contract that benefits Damnus

Another problem pointed out by the union, this agreement does not provide, according to this memorandum, anything for the secondary airports in the provinces and is largely financed by the charges from the airport in Bangui. But it is above all at the economic level that Damnus takes the lion’s share. He will run the airport for two years before starting the renovation. “Who finances whom?” Asks the same union leader.

With another detail, the company could benefit even more. This contract expects more and more passengers each year. 75,000 for next year, for example, while 45,000 passengers are expected. It would be up to the Central African state to compensate for Damnus’ shortfall, according to this memorandum.

In the end, all royalties and other benefits recalled to the Turkish group should earn it after 30 years, more than € 750 million for an initial investment of € 45 million, if we are to believe the union members. “A disaster”, estimates the source to which RFI joined.

The ASECNA Trade Union Confederation therefore announces that it cannot support such a project and calls on the Government to review its copy.

A senior official from the Ministry of Transport responsible for civil aviation was reassuring: “Nothing has been signed so far, we are still in the negotiation phase”. The newspapers, for their part, announced that a convention was signed on 23 October.

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