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These roads will be well travelled

Article - October 14, 2013
An exemplary partner of EG's government and significant job creator for locals, Sogea Satom is the name behind much of the country's road building and paving
Equatorial Guinea is an African success story of non-stop growth and development, where a return visitor is continually surprised by the fast and enduring changes in the national landscape. 
The government’s infrastructure programmes are right on track and companies such as Sogea Satom are contributing with world-class quality, technology and expertise. 
Part of the Vinci Group, Sogea Satom has been part of the Equatoguinean boom for nearly 20 years – not only in terms of projects undertaken but also in providing jobs and training to locals.
 Around 90 per cent of Sogea Satom’s workforce in EG is Equatoguinean.
“We arrived here in 1994 through Gabon, where we had many Equatorial Guineans working for us already,” recalls Director General Frank Casteleyn. “They came with us to Guinea, which means that today we have people who have 30 years of Sogea experience working with us. They are the ones who train the young Guineans every day.”
Sogea Satom is the largest road infrastructure company in EG and is responsible for having built the majority of its roads. This is no easy task in a country where “all the high points are rocks and low points are swamps,” says Mr Casteleyn.
In addition to traditional photogrammetry and map reconstitution, the company uses helicopters and lasers to be able to penetrate the deep equatorial forests. Moreover, Sogea Satom takes extreme care to minimise negative environmental impact in all its operations – one of many reasons why the firm has cemented its position as a reliable partner of government. 
“Guinea is in full development and the government is looking for trustworthy partners in terms of quality of work, social behaviour and good rapport with local communities,” highlights Mr Casteleyn. 
Having been in Africa for more than 70 years, Vinci Group has integrated successfully in the countries where it is present and works well with the local populations, thus earning the trust of people and governments alike.