By Jite Eriabie
Dubai-based port and terminal operator DP World has revealed plans to participate in a number of infrastructure development projects in West and North Africa.
This was confirmed during recent visits of Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World Group’s Chairman and CEO, to Senegal, Mali, Ghana, Algeria and Gambia.
The discussions with Senegalese President Macky Sall confirmed the plan for Port Du Futur with the construction to start before the end of 2018, together with the agreement on land allocation for the associated freezone. Port de Futur will be a multi-purpose port with an economic zone and logistics zone adjacent to new Blaise Diagne International Airport.
What is more, DP World will also provide a master plan for the redevelopment of the old port of Dakar.
During the visit, DP World’s Chairman and CEO underlined the company’s commitment to supporting the economic growth of Senegal and developing Dakar into a major logistics hub and gateway.
“The (African) region has major trade potential, especially for landlocked nations seeking gateways to the sea and connectivity between them will be key. The size of the region and their populations reinforces the need for multi-modal transport, logistics and customs capabilities across borders,” Ahmed Bin Sulayem commented.
In addition, Bin Sulayem had a meeting with the President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, to discuss a trade and logistics master plan to unlock the country’s economic potential, especially the use of extensive inland waterways.
The plan includes a transportation and logistics strategy with electronic customs processes, replicating DP World’s model with Dubai Trade at its flagship Jebel Ali Port and Freezone in Dubai.
Discussions with the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, centered on cooperation in customs technology, port operations, freezone development, rail transport and inland container depots as ways to develop trade and support businesses aiming to reach international markets.
Sulayem highlighted Ghana’s recent agreement with Dubai’s Customs World to supply customs clearing services in the country as an example of making processes more efficient, lowering costs for ports and transport providers and enabling more efficient trade flows.
Customs World acquired West Blue Ghana Ltd in September to provide a national single window and risk management system and invest in new technologies and training in customs digital platforms. The implementation of the new systems will be based on a risk engine that will improve efficiency in the country’s ports and customs operations and increase government’s revenue and reduce the cost of doing business at the ports, as explained by DP World.
“Integrating ports, customs, and freezones in Ghana will benefit the country enormously, enabling business to trade faster and more efficiently than ever before. Dubai is a model for the world and we can support developing nations such as Ghana in the long-term implementation of such strategies as the recent agreement with Customs World demonstrates,” Sulayem stressed.
Across Africa, DP World has operations in Senegal, Egypt, Mozambique, Djibouti, Algeria and Somaliland where it is developing a multi-purpose port project at Berbera. It also secured a 25-year concession to develop and operate a new logistics centre in Kigali, Rwanda at the beginning of 2016.
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