The Ouesso Special Economic Zone covers an area of 64,520 hectares. The activities retained are:
- The first phase focuses on industrial processing of wood into sawing and plywood, and eventually the production of furniture and construction of real estate;
- The second phase focuses on the preparation, development of coffee and cocoa cultivation and the creation of agro-industry through the processing of these crops;
- The third phase concerns the cultivation of the palm.
Research and financial services are also of concern to the Ouesso special economic zone. Since this zone is mainly based on the first phase, which constitutes free trade zones, Ouesso and neighbouring cities will nevertheless benefit from the settlement of new SEZ employees (one-stop-shop staff, the regional delegation of the Planning Agency, etc.) and, rapidly, the increase in wood-related industrial activity.
Economic advantages of the Sangha department
The construction of the Ouesso special economic zone, in addition to those of Pointe-Noire, Brazzaville and Oyo-Ollombo, will undoubtedly make Sangha a real economic pole that will offer business opportunities in budding sectors such as food and agro pastoral and services.
The department of Sangha has an area of 55,800 km2, with a population of 105,898 inhabitants. This population is divided between the districts of Ouesso (36,817 inhabitants), Mokéko (36,206 inhabitants), Sembé (11,460 inhabitants), Souanké (11,653 inhabitants), Pikounda (4,226 inhabitants) and Ngbala (5,536 inhabitants). Sangha is bounded to the north by Cameroon and the Central African Republic, to the south by the departments of La Cuvette and the Cuvette-Ouest, to the east by the department of Likouala and to the west by Gabon.
Covered 100% by the great equatorial forest, this department is the third economic pole of the country, after Pointe-Noire and Brazzaville. It has enormous economic potential and is full of natural resources. Coffee, cocoa, oil palm, etc. are cultivated in the rural areas. Its fauna which is rich in biodiversity as well as its flora make this department a perfect place for ecotourism. A large part of the area is home to the two largest national parks: Noabale-Ndoki (straddling Sangha and Likouala) and Odzala Kokoua (straddling the Sangha and the West Cuvette). These two parks host primates such as gorillas, chimpanzees and large mammals such as elephants and other animal species.
The Sangha forest occupies an area of 5,800,000 hectares, of which 3,195,200 hectares are used by logging companies. Equatorial forest species are highly sought after. Timber exploitation is booming. All these is animated by forestry companies like CIB-OLAM, IFO, SIFCO and SEFYD. The Congolese forestry industry is attracting a great deal of interest because companies have settled in the Sangha, especially in the Ouesso forests for timber exploitation.
The Sangha department is watered by four rivers: Sangha, Ngoko, Ivindo and Mambili. This last stream serves as a natural border with the departments of La Cuvette and La Cuvette-Ouest.
The soil of the Sangha is very permanently fertile. Its abundant rainfall facilitates the rapid development of plants. Cocoa is cultivated there precisely in the localities of Sembe, Ngbala and Pikounda. The production of palm oil also occupies a prominent place in Sangha. Good quality oil, recognized as such, is produced in the palm plantations of Mokéko on the facilities of the former Sangha Palm Company, whose activities have been taken over by the Eco-Oïl Congo Energy Company. Eco-Oïl Congo Energy.
Eco-Oil Energy. The plant located in Mokéko, a small urban community of about 2,000 inhabitants, is owned by Eco-Oil Energy. Located near Ouesso, capital of the Sangha, the first economic region of the Congo, it invested up to 350 billion CFA francs, i.e. 533 million euros over five years.
To the agricultural qualities of the soil are added those linked to the quality clay favourable to the traditional and mechanical manufacture of burned brick. The Sangha sub-soil is full of precious minerals. For example, gold is traditionally exploited in Yangadou (Souanké), Pounga and Elogo. Diamond, iron and other polymers are exploited around the localities of Souanké, Mokéko and Bomassa.
The national planning policy, known as "accelerated municipalisation", from which the Sangha benefited in 2015, makes this department a modern space with quality infrastructure for the emergence of a dynamic private sector. The Sangha is already dis-enclaved thanks to the tarring of the Owando-Makoua-Ouesso road. This road favours the mobility of factors of production. With the roads connecting the Sangha to Cameroon, the department will experience an exceptional economic boom.
Within the same framework, Ouesso airport, built to the standards of aeronautical pavements to the Airbus 330-200, will be a major asset for air transport of goods and people. The construction of the Liouesso hydroelectric dam will allow the Sangha department to have sufficient energy to supply production units.
Thanks to these natural assets and a population that is mainly young, the Sangha department offers a favourable business environment. This business environment is reinforced by the existence of financial institutions: the Central African State Bank (BEAC), primary banks and micro credit institutions.