Oct 04, 2016: DP World has welcomed efforts by African nations to improve their infrastructure, an essential pillar for building a growing economy and connecting the continent to the world.
On a tour of Africa, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World Group chairman and CEO, and chairman of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (FZE), visited a number of countries notably Nigeria, where he met with Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State and discussed ways to develop logistics services and to increase their efficiency and use.
Bin Sulayem highlighted the valuable role of DP World in its capacity as a global trade enabler, exporting its knowledge and experience and also the development expertise of the UAE and Dubai in growing innovative logistic capabilities and modern infrastructure worldwide.
Bin Sulayem, said, “Our global portfolio of 77 operating marine and inland terminals across six continents demonstrates our capabilities in different markets. The productive partnerships we have forged with governments, especially in Africa, which represents a major part of our network, underlines how public and private sector organisations working together can look to develop the infrastructure needed to support economic growth and attract investment.
“In countries such as Nigeria and others across the continent senior officials expressed a genuine determination to overcome obstacles to economic development, especially the inability of infrastructure to keep pace with the strong growth on the continent in the past few years. We expressed our readiness to support the efforts being made to develop ports and logistics centers, based on the vision of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice president, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to promote the international role of the UAE and Dubai in developing the global economy.”
Bin Sulayem noted that the quality of infrastructure represents a major hurdle for the integration of African trade with the global economy, as highlighted in a report commissioned by DP World from the Economist Intelligence Unit last year entitled “Africa At The Crossroads: Bridging The Infrastructure Gap”.
The report noted that the continent’s ports do not play a significant role in international marine shipping and that port vessel turnaround times lag behind other markets. Other modes of transport such as rail also need encouraging given Africa’s size. It concluded that growth in Africa brings new challenges and that a range of policies from regional free trade agreements to improved Public-Private Partnership frameworks across a large number of countries are gaining momentum suggesting that the enabling environment for infrastructure development is improving.
DP World has existing operations in Senegal, Egypt, Mozambique, Djibouti, and Algeria and recently signed an agreement with the Republic of Somaliland to invest in a multi-purpose port project at Berbera. It secured a 25-year concession to develop and operate a new logistics center in Kigali, Rwanda at the beginning of 2016.