Lome — Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe on Monday inaugurated a new airport terminal modernized with the help of Chinese funds and companies.
The new terminal of Gnassingbe Eyadema International Airport (AIGE) of Lome has been modernized with an investment of 150 million U.S. dollars from Exim Bank of China, and redesigned and rebuilt by two Chinese companies WIETEC and China Airport Construction Group Corporation (CACC).
AIGE is now capable of handling 1.6 million passengers a year while its annual freight handling capacity has been increased from 15,000 tons to 35,000 tons.
Ninsao Gnofam, an official from the Togolese Ministry of Transport, said that all the conditions are now met to make the new terminal a genuine modern air transport facility.
The official said the new terminal is a tool for economic and social development that is likely to create wealth and employment, at a time when the Togolese government plans to position the country as an air transport hub in the West African sub-region.
The new terminal conforms to international standards and is an "excellent example of cooperation between China and Togo," Liu Yuxi, Chinese ambassador to Togo, said in his speech on the occasion.
"Gnassingbe Eyadema International Airport has become not only a landmark of Togo but also an excellent advert of Togo in the outside world," the diplomat said.
Liu also said that AIGE will be one of the most modern international airports in West Africa.
"It will give the capital Lome the opportunity to become an airport hub in the West African sub-region, even in the whole Africa, and will establish a solid foundation for the economic development of Togo," he added.