January 14 2015
His Excellency Dr Thomas Boni Yayi, the Beninese Head of State, and Vincent Bolloré, CEO of Bolloré Group, today inaugurated a brand new railway station. This is truly a renaissance for the Cotonou Central Station, a landmark in the history of Beninese rail and OCBN, the Benin Niger Joint Organisation for rail and transport.
Seniors will recall the lively business environment that once flourished around the railway station. In the early 20th century, the OCBN train was originally planned to connect Cotonou to Niamey via Parakou. World War II put paid to the adventure. Today, however, hope has returned with the perspective of connecting Cotonou to the West African rail loop. A strategic partner for the project, notably along the line from Cotonou to Niamey via Parakou and Dosso, Bolloré Group has entirely refurbished the OCBN’s central station. Today its blue and white facade is truly imposing and will be a source of pride for the Beninese people as they discover the pleasure of rail travel.
The newly renovated station in Cotonou is a complete, virtuous ecosystem that is being introduced to embellish a district that is very popular with the city’s residents. In the coming months, the central station at Cotonou will also become a place for socialising, discovery and interaction, notably economic, creating, after the port and the airport, a third focus for growth around transport infrastructures.
The station at Cotonou will also be a facility for cultural activities, information and exhibitions on the sustainable energy and electric batteries introduced by Bolloré Group.
Free services designed to last:
Near the station, the Beninese will be able to discover the full benefits of this sustainable energy in the Bluezone located in the Zongo district. In just a few weeks, the Bluezone, still under construction, will offer the Beninese access to a whole range of free and sustainable services.