Diamniadio the Millennium Platform

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0v8a1290The project «Diamniadio» aims to unclog Dakar, to provide Senegal with an eco-city that will be durable, intelligent, connected, displaying an urban mix that combines institutions, ministries, digital park, university housing, all in 2500 ha …”. The new urban project everyoneis talking about is located thirty kilometers southwest of Dakar and fifteen minutes from the future new Blaise Diagne International Airport,. In a short term, 300,000 people will settle down in this new city, but ultimately it is nearly one million inhabitants who will share its many green spaces and infrastructure. Let’s discover an extraordinary project.

For several years, the capital of Senegal, Dakar, had become a nightmare for motorists. Diamniadio is a first step to streamline the territory of Senegal and to implement the project called « Plan Senegal Emergence ».

“Urban Pole Diamniadio brings new life to Dakar by reducing the many pressures on the city. In other words, Diamniadio will help Dakar to get a better life” (President Macky Sall).

The proposed urban project will make Diamniadio a modern city focused on the future which will combine green areas, university of the future, training centers, administrative center and digital technology park. An urban mix, key to the success of the project.

The city incorporates a holistic response to all current urban issues related to housing, infrastructure, mobility, environment … a project that is in step with the times and that anticipates the future needs of its inhabitants. The project is progressing well: in the city center, a few hundred houses are already out of the ground. In a five years term,  40,000 houses and apartments of various standings will be realized. Eventually, the city will house 300,000 inhabitants in a relatively short time, reaching one of the objectives of Plan Senegal Emergence .

Government departments will also have their place in the new city. President Macky Sall, who will also have a presidential residence on site, wants to transfer some departments in a fast 18 months period, making de facto Diamniadio an administrative city. Departments will be spread over the entire territory, forming ministerial poles, respecting the imperatives of social and urban diversity. Time losses due to congestion problems will therefore be old history for the thousands members of the ministries.

Like all the modern cities, Diamniadio will also have its “City”, concentrated on a site of 700 hectares. The International Conference Centre “Abdou Diouf” was inaugurated in 2014 on the occasion of the fifteenth Francophonie Summit, which was held there. A second phase involves the construction of a five star hotel, and a dozen buildings dedicated to business plus a Digital Technology Park. The French company Atos, which has just opened -in June- its regional center of digital services for West Africa in Dakar, has already positioned for installation in Diamniadio.  The company is going to build a digital platform that is expected to generate 1,000 jobs by to three years.

This connected city, with an area of 26 hectares, is also expected to attract other national and multinational companies. Everything has been designed to make their live easier. Data centers, “cloud” server, training and software development centers, e-commerce, business incubators, audiovisual and multimedia production units will settle down in the city and should generate 35,000 direct jobs as well as 105,000 indirect jobs by 2025.

The project is funded by the African Development Bank  (70.6 million euros).

Two industrial platforms will accommodate hundreds of companies. The first platform will host 60 companies on an area of 52 hectares, the project is almost completed. The second will follow quickly.

The urban project meets current environmental requirements and wants to be eco-friendly. Management and remediation of waste are planned, renewable energy is already used in the city center. A potential business target for Belgian and Luxembourg companies specialized in renewable energies.

A sports centre with more than 15 000 places is also under construction.

“Diamniadio” is connected in several senses. A new section of highway, soon completed, will link the city to the new Blaise Diagne International Airport, in just 15 minutes. The location of the new urban center is ideal; main roads will be linking people and all the regions of the country (NR1 and NR2). It takes less than 20 minutes drive to the capital Dakar by the new toll highway, opened in 2013, the first highway project in public-private partnership of in Sub-Saharian Africa. The airport highway, meanwhile, will also be extended by 55 kilometers to Thies via the seaside city of Mbour. Let’s also mention the TAR project, the Regional Express Train, which should serve the new city and be achieved by 2019.

In order to anticipate any problem of mobility, the IT city will manage the automation of the city: traffic, energy efficiency and security. A solar power plant with a capacity of 15 megawatts will ensure the supply of clean electricity, while most buildings are designed to maximize the natural warmth and efficiency of ventilation flow in buildings.

Building materials needs are provided by a factory that is located in an industrial park in the city. It will also respond to the  needs of other urban centers projects such as the Lac Rose and the towns of Thies and Mbour.

The developers of the project

Several consortiums have been selected for the project. Land has been allocated free of charge by the Senegalese authorities to investors who  will turn it into beautiful urban projects they will sell to the various actors of the Senegalese economy.

SénégIndia” was the first group to launch the work of the City project, in May 2014. Composed of the Senegalese company Générale des Travaux Publics et de Négoce (Getran) and two Indian groups (Swaminarayan Vijay Carry Trade and Garasiya Farm), they aim to deliver, by the end of 2019,  some 2,500 apartments and houses of low, middle and high standing. Secondly, there are health, cultural and sports facilities as well as a five-star hotel that will be built up. Let also mention the 10,000 m2 of green areas and several shopping centers.

Besides SenegIndia, land has also been allocated to four groups; Teyliom, the Moroccan companies Alliances and Medina Invest, and Emirati Doozy Gulf Group. It is their turn now to develop the first phase of their urban project.

Diamniadio has it all: smart city, ecological, responsible and sustainable, favoring the local economy, while being open to the world and promoting the social mix. Hopefully the freshness and fragrance of spring of the Diamniadio « spirit » diffuses to sustain the growth of the economy. And it not only benefits the Senegalese economy but also to the Senegalese residents.

Gauthier Demaret