Global gateway: Somaliland upgrades its window to the world

Global gateway: Somaliland upgrades its window to the world

Euronews  | Sep 19, 2019 11:31

Global gateway: Somaliland upgrades its window to the world

Since declaring independence from Somalia 28 years ago, Somaliland has struggled with a lack of investment, poverty and poor infrastructure.

But a project to expand its port of Berbera promises to turn the self-declared republic of 4 million people into a global shipping hub and unlock its massive potential.

Berbera sits on the southern coast of the Gulf of Aden. It occupies a strategic position in the Horn of Africa and lies on a busy shipping route for traffic to and from the Middle East and eastern Africa.

The President of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi, describes Berbera as “a gateway that connects many African countries to the world”.

"To the east, all the way to Asia, the sub-continent of India, all the way to China. On the other side through the Suez Canal, it connects many African countries to the Middle East, to Europe and all the way to North America."

Somaliland broke away from Somalia in 1991 and has operated independently since. It has its own parliament and elections, its own currency, passports, flag, military and self-declared border.

But the state is not recognised as a country, which rules out direct aid or loans from most global institutions.

In May 2016, DP World signed a 400-million Euro agreement to annexe and operate a regional trade and logistics hub at Berbera.

Since then, Berbera Port’s capacity has grown by 50 per cent. It now handles up to 13,000 containers a month.

Supachai Wattanaveerachai, the port’s chief executive, said: "Our vision is to make Berbera a regional marine hub, a gateway for Ethiopia and to open new markets for the Somaliland people.”

As part of the agreement, a network of roads is set to be built to connect the port with its hinterland.

This will link up with Ethiopia, a land-locked country of over 100 million people that is fast industrialising. It is one of Somaliland's main trading partners.

With limited foreign investment, the Somaliland government and other organisations are trying to create new jobs.

Dr Saad Ali Shire, Somaliland’s Minister of Finance, says it’s hoped the port project will bring big benefits throughout the economy.

"I think the future is bright. And investment in the port is a catalyst to many things happening in Somaliland which will definitely create jobs and give hope to a lot of young people.

“Our population is very young. Up to 70% is under 30 years old. And we believe the combination of the port and Berbera corridor, the road from Berbera to Ethiopia, and the free zone, plus the international airport, the combination of these infrastructure projects will create the capacity to meet the logistical needs of the region.”

Shams Adan Awale imports textiles from the Middle East and China and hopes to benefit.

She told Connecting Africa: "We have been facing delays at the port. Cargo comes and you have to wait to get it because the port is small and lacks modern equipment. We have heard that with the expansion, the delays will be completely eliminated.”

View on euronews

Related News

Latest comments

Add a Comment
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Discussion
Write a reply...
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.

Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.

English (USA) English (UK) English (India) English (Canada) English (Australia) English (Philippines) English (Nigeria) Deutsch Español (España) Español (México) Français Italiano Nederlands Português (Portugal) Polski Português (Brasil) Русский Türkçe ‏العربية‏ Ελληνικά Svenska Suomi עברית 日本語 한국어 中文 香港 Bahasa Indonesia Bahasa Melayu ไทย Tiếng Việt हिंदी
Logout
Are you sure you want to sign out?
NoYes
CancelYes
Saving Changes

+