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Feasibility Study for Private Sector Participation in the River Transport Operations

Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF)

The navigable network of the Niger river consists of a 385 km long upstream reach connecting Bamako to Kankan (in Guinea) and of a 1408 km long downstream reach (northern reach) connecting Koulikouro (north of Bamako) to Tombouktu, Gao and Niamey (in Niger). The latter part is the most used and river transport plays an important part in local transport of goods and travelers coming from or heading to the northern region of Mali.  For several decades, COMANAV has been the key operator for passenger and freight transport on the Niger river, from Koulikouro to Gao and especially, the stretch from Mopti to Kabara and Gao, section on which the water level remains favourable for the longest time.
Because of the strategic nature of river transport for the opening-up and the development of remote areas in the North of Mali and to make COMANAV more profitable, the Government of Mali decided to launch a study to review the feasibility and the conditions of a public-private partnership in the operation of river transport in Mali and in the management of COMANAV.  The objective of the project was to recommend a basis for restructuring the Mali Navigation Company, which is currently a state owned enterprise providing both commercial and socially necessary services along the Niger River.