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Somaliland secures $442m deal to revamp Berbera port

Somaliland secures $442m deal to revamp Berbera port

Somalia

The port of Berbera in the autonomous state of Somaliland will soon be revamped.

The country’s authorities signed an agreement with marine ports company- Dubai Ports World, which will manage the project, set to become a major hub for goods in transit to and from the Horn of Africa for a period of 30 years.

The company valued the project at $442 million, but said it would be a phased investment and depended on port volumes.

It really points out that an economic aspect and not of nationalities, it's all about profits, an analysis of costs and benefits. This is why Dubai has won.*_AFP_*

Somaliland authorities say the project will enable the country to achieve its potential of becoming a regional trade partner.

‘‘We expect significant revenue for the government, but also economic development of the city and the country in general,” said Mohamed Ali, the Port Director

The extension of Berbera will boost its capacity which barely exceeds 40,000 containers per year. The project will enable the port to handle up to 200,000 containers, allowing the country to take full advantage of its position between the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean, and its proximity to Ethiopia.

Thirty percent of cargo to Addis Ababa currently goes through Berbera following the agreement reached in March between the two countries.

Dr Saad Ali Shire, Foreign Minister of Somaliland said they went for the most attractive offer between three companies including France’s Bollore and Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Company- which had indicated their interest in the project.

‘‘We looked at the different proposals, and we chose the one that was best for our country. It really points out that an economic aspect and not of nationalities, it’s all about profits, an analysis of costs and benefits. This is why Dubai has won,” he said.

The ministry said the project will bring with it job opportunities for a large population of the country’s unemployed youth.

On behalf of the Mayor’s office, Berbera’s municipal councilor Hanad Hashi, also welcomed the project with elation.

“The mayor of Berbera welcomes this agreement with Dubai World with joy and hope that this investment will have an effect and bring about many changes in terms of infrastructure and economic (growth) for the port of Berbera.”

Dubai Ports World is expected to pay $5 million a year plus 10 percent on port revenue to Somaliland.

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