DP World eyes further Africa expansion following Somaliland deal
The chairman of DP World is “bullish” about growth plans in Africa, it was reported last week, after the ports operator signed a deal to develop and operate a trade and logistics hub in Somaliland.
DP World last week signed a $442 million agreement with the government of Somaliland to operate part of the Port of Berbera on the eastern coast of Africa.
The two parties agreed to form a joint venture company that will “invest and manage” and transform the port into a “regional and logistic hub,” DP World said in a statement.
DP World chairman Sultan bin Sulayem was quoted as telling The National in Somaliland: “I am very bullish about Africa and believe it still has a very huge potential.
“The reason why we go to Africa is because we get a lot of knowledge and experience and they are the two factors for success.”
DP World already operates in Egypt, Djibouti, Algeria, Senegal and Mozambique. In its statement, the company said it had added 2,275,000 twenty foot equivalent units (TEU) of capacity at its terminals in Africa over the past three to five years, bringing the total annual capacity to 6.2 million TEU.
The Somaliland project involves the setting up of a free zone and is part of a larger memorandum of understanding between the Dubai and Republic of Somaliland governments to strengthen strategic ties.
The Port of Berbera is intended to become a hub and sea route for the Ethiopian market mainly, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Investment in the port will attract more shipping lines to east Africa, and also complement DP World’s services in Djibouti, according to Bin Sulayem.
The National quoted Saad Ali Shire, Somaliland’s minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation, as saying: “This agreement is opening a new chapter to gaining foreign investment by Somaliland. This deal should enhance job opportunities to youth of the country.”