Almost 1,200 rural villages and towns in Côte d’Ivoire will have access to drinking water through a new EKN-supported project that promises a “massive impact” on local communities and women in particular.

Imagine walking several hours a day to fetch clean water instead of going to school or working? That’s everyday life for millions of people around the world. The burdensome chore falls mostly upon women in rural areas, sucking up their time, energy, and well-being.

In Côte d’Ivoire, a new project that involves the construction of 1,378 new water wells in remote, rural areas, along with a network of pipes, pumps and solar panels, will bring drinking water to around one tenth of the country’s 30-million population.

Valued at EUR 200 million, the project is financed by mandated lead arranger KfW IPEX-Bank of Germany and The Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK) through a Social Loan with guarantees from EKN and the Dutch ECA Atradius. The borrower is Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Finance, while the buyer is the Ministry of Hydraulics. The project has a total construction period of 4 years and a credit period of 12 years.

From Israel, Baran serves as EPC contractor, with Bluebird Finance acting as financial advisor. “This landmark deal is the pure essence of our work: an export finance deal which will enable clean and accessible drinking water for 3 million people,” says Ram Shalita, CEO at Bluebird, which has arranged EUR 1.7 billion in loans for infrastructure projects in Africa over the past six years.

At EKN, senior underwriter Michael Regmert agrees. “EKN is very proud of being part of the financing solution for this sustainable project, which is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The pandemic caused delays in finalising the deal but it was worth the wait.”

UN SDG No. 6 focuses on ensuring a clean and stable water supply and effective water sanitation for all people by the year 2030. The goal reflects the fact that many people throughout the world lack these basic services. About 40 percent of the world’s population is affected by a lack of water.

  • Côte d’Ivoire agrees €200mn deal for ECA-backed clean water project

Signed in early August, the transaction is backed by Swedish export credit agency EKN, with reinsurance by the Netherlands’ Atradius, carrying a tenor of 16 years, according to people familiar with the deal. 

Baran International, a subsidiary of Israel-based contractor Baran Group, is the main engineering and construction firm, as well as the exporter. 

The borrower is Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Finance, while the buyer is the country’s Ministry of Hydraulics, via its water utility, Office National de l’Eau Potable. 

The project is part of the government’s ‘Water For All’ initiative, a multi-year plan to improve water supply in rural areas – particularly in villages where residents must walk several kilometres to reach a well. 

The effort to bring water to such communities is “a fantastic project” and the first such transaction in Côte d’Ivoire, says Per Edlundh, director, export and project finance at SEK. 

  • How Sweden unlocked Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest solar project


One million solar panels are due to be installed at seven new solar parks in Angola – hitting a major milestone in the country’s transition to clean, renewable energy. Sweden’s EPC Alliance set the stage for progress with a packaged solution combining 15 suppliers with comprehensive export credit financing.

A new railroad with high-speed trains is connecting the coast of Tanzania to the centre of the country. Attractive financing and a comprehensive sustainability and environmental agenda render the multi-billion dollar project a showcase to the entire continent. Here’s how.

A modern infrastructure is essential to developing economies and electric railways are often a preferred choice for sustainability reasons. They provide an affordable and reliable means of transport to promote trade. In Tanzania, the government has embarked on upgrading and extending the national rail network funded by the largest foreign currency financing ever raised in the country.

The government plans to develop a large-scale standard-gauge railway (SGR) that will ultimately connect Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC to Tanzania, providing access with high-speed electric trains to the Indian Ocean for landlocked neighbours, stimulating regional trade and passenger travel and strengthening the economy. Construction of the first two lots connecting the commercial centre and port of Dar es Salaam with the administrative capital Dodoma at the centre has begun and is progressing well.
  • Electrified railway in Turkey is built with Swedish products


Svensk Exportkredit (SEK) is financing one of Turkey’s highest priority infrastructure projects, an electrified railway. It creates new business for Swedish export companies that deliver everything from signal and telecommunication systems to engineering know-how and production technology for high-speed rail.

Attractive financing helps Angola harness the power of the sun in a 370MW solar project with substantial Swedish deliveries by Hitachi ABB Powergrids to electrify rural areas and help combat climate change.

Angola is Africa’s seventh largest nation with 30 million inhabitants and a rapidly growing economy. While the country is largely dependent on fossil fuels for its electricity generation, a new solar project – the biggest of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, with seven facilities totalling 370MW – will greatly increase the share of sustainable energy and facilitate the switch to renewable sources.

Eighty-five percent of the project is financed with an export credit worth 560 million euro with a tenure of 18 years from the Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK), guaranteed by EKN and arranged by ING Bank. The project fits the recently raised ambitions of the Swedish export finance system to help combat climate change and support sustainable investments using Swedish greentech.
Cocoa, gold and oil, coupled with political stability, has placed Ghana in the top tier of African economies, but the quality of the infrastructure hasn’t quite kept up. That’s about to change.

High growth momentum, fuelled by an increase in the price and production of cocoa, gold, and oil has consistently placed Ghana among Africa’s 10 fastest-growing economies and transformed the West African country, according to the World Bank: “In 30 years, real GDP growth has quadrupled, extreme poverty dropped by half, and Ghana has moved to a Lower Middle-Income Country status.”

Infrastructure is crucial to economic growth and quality of life for citizens, since better roads allow more people to participate in the economy and reduce congestion and pollution. Ghana’s Ministry of Roads has initiated several road upgrade projects, two of which are financed by EKN and The Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK): “Streets of Accra” and “Streets of Tamale”, which entail surfacing of local roads and construction of drainage systems, with QGMI Group as chief EPC contractor.