Port expansion critical to boosting Africa trade

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By Zimbabwe Investor on July 22, 2014. No Comments

Ports in southern and eastern Africa are seeing major redevelopments and investment in order to accommodate the increasing flows in global sea trade, and in response to this, the first annual Port Expansion East Africa conference will be inaugurated on 23-24 September, 2014.

The Tanzania Daily News reports that countries in Southern Africa are undertaking major expansion or constructing completely new ultra-modern ports to facilitate rising global trade using waterways. Transnet Port Terminals Chief Executive Officer, Karl Socikwa, named Kenya’s Lamu port and the Tanzania’s Bagamoyo port as leading projects in the region so far. Mr. Socikwa, in a paper he authored entitled “Ports Industry and Infrastructure Development in Africa” said that growing volumes of cargo at all African ports has forced port authorities and operators to increase capacity, analyse operations to increase efficiency, and employ measures to allow bigger ships into their ports.

“The East Africa region has various projects underway. The new Lamu Port in Kenya costing USD 5.3bn and the Bagamoyo port in Tanzania costing USD 11bn are examples of countries preparing for the ever growing port capacity needs,” Mr. Socikwa said. When completed in 2017, Bagamoyo will become the biggest container terminal in Africa: with a planned cargo of 20m containers a year, it will be 20 times larger than the port at Dar-es-Salaam and likely to rank in the top 10 terminals in the world in terms of volume.