DP World sharpens focus on African expansion
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DP World group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem is on a tour of West and North Africa, reaffirming the port operators plans to develop logistics and maritime infrastructure in Senegal and Mali.
Bin Sulayem met with Senegalese President Macky Sall this week to discuss the plan for Port Du Futur with construction to start before the end of 2018 together with agreement on land allocation for the associated freezone.
DP World also provided a master plan for redevelopment of the old port of Dakar. Other topics included customs and logistics in the country.
Port de Futur will be a multi-purpose port with an economic zone and logistics zone adjacent to new Blaise Diagne International Airport. It allows for the creation of cargo, free movement of goods to support the country’s economic diversification, boosting non-resource exports. It is expected to be one of the most advanced and well organised free zones in Africa and globally using the latest state-of-the-art equipment and technology.
The visit was part of Bin Sulayem’s annual Africa tour calling at existing DP World operations while meeting other heads of state and business leaders to explore trade links and solutions connecting Africa to the world.
He underlined the company’s commitment to supporting the economic growth of Senegal and developing Dakar into a major logistics hub and gateway.
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Earlier this year, DP World published an economic impact study by EY on the role of its Dakar Container Terminal, noting that 31,000 Senegalese nationals have been supported by the company’s activities with a 63 % increase in Dakar’s imports and exports between 2010 and 2015 as a result of infrastructure investments.
“African nations are determined to develop their infrastructure to encourage trade and the growth of their economies. The region has major trade potential, especially for landlocked nations seeking gateways to the sea and connectivity between them will be key,” said Bin Sulayem.
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.
Following his visit to Senegal, Bin Sulayem travelled to Mali, where he met with the President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, to discuss a trade and logistics master plan to unlock the resource rich country’s economic potential.
The plan includes a transportation and logistics strategy with electronic customs processes, replicating DP World’s successful model with Dubai Trade at its flagship Jebel Ali Port and Freezone in Dubai.
Regional trade in West Africa connects through ports such as DP World Dakar in Senegal to international markets.
“Mali has a long history of trade in gold and agricultural products and though landlocked, has the opportunity to maximise use of its 1,800 kilometres of inland waterways such as the Niger River to connect local farmers and businesses to international markets,” he said.