Construction work on the development of the multi-purpose Berbera port in the Republic of Somaliland has started with a special groundbreaking ceremony to mark the occasion.
H.E. President of the Republic of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi and DP World Group Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem launched the first phase of work and thanked attending government officials and partners for their support at the start of a new era of growth for the country.
The first phase will consist of building a 400-metre quay and 250,000 square metre yard extension as well as the development of a free zone to create a new regional trading hub.
DP World Berbera, the joint venture company, will also serve land locked countries in the Horn of Africa such as Ethiopia which has a 19% stake in the project as a shareholder. Long term DP World partner Shafa Al Nahda Contracting have been awarded the construction contract for the port expansion. Shafa Al Nahda have been involved in the Port of Dakar expansion in Senegal as well the Port of Maputo expansion project in Mozambique.
DP World Group Chairman & CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, said: “This event is a landmark in the history of Somaliland and for DP World. We are delighted that construction work has begun and over the next few years we will see a transformation in the capacity of this major infrastructure asset that will benefit people both here and across the Horn of Africa, providing an alternative gateway to international markets and providing jobs to the people of Somaliland.
“This is all part of our vision to act as an enabler of trade and to encourage growth by helping African countries develop their economies with access to global markets. Investment in this natural deep-water port and free zone will act as a catalyst for the growth of the country and the region’s economy and create jobs at many levels.
Alongside physical assets we are investing in the development of the people who work here through training and skills development across our network. I’d like to thank the Government and the people of Somaliland for inviting us to be a long-term partner in the future of their nation.”
President of Somaliland H.E Muse Bihi Abdi, said:
Yesterday we observed the ground breaking ceremony for the expansion and modernization of Berbera Port. Today, we celebrate the contract awarding ceremony. Together, these two events mark the start of construction of the expansion of Berbera Port. I thank you all for your participation in this event and your interest in this project. I want to thank the Government of UAE, Ethiopia, DP World, Somaliland Ports Authority and everybody who has worked so hard to make this happen. We are proud of the work that has been done, so far, to help make this day possible.
Today is a historic day as we mark another major milestone in the development of our economy and by investing in our infrastructure we will be able to grow for the benefit of our people, the region and beyond. Connecting to landlocked countries such as Ethiopia and the rest of the region will reinforce the firm relationships that now exist and make Somaliland an important player in regional economic integration and growth. The importance of the Port of Berbera as a Red Sea gateway for the Middle East and Africa can now be realized, unlocking our potential as a trade hub and creating jobs across the country.
The Berbera Port expansion and modernization work is the biggest construction project in Somaliland. This, together with the Berbera free zone and the new airport are an essential part of Somaliland’s economic development transformation and linkage to the wider regional economic integration and growth. This did not happen by itself. It is the result of tremendous work, notably by the governments of Somaliland, UAE and Ethiopia.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Development of ports is about brining competitiveness which means better services and better prices; it is about economic integration, and trade facilitation among neighboring countries. We are determined to make Berbera port competitive with the major regional ports.
The Expansion of the Berbera Port is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Somaliland and will contribute immensely to the economic well-being of our country and generate jobs. As announced today, the Expansion work will be carried out by Shafa Al Nahda.
The peace and stability of Somaliland as well as its strategic location attracted UAE and DP World’s huge investment into Somaliland. We welcome this investment and commend the courageous decision of UAE and DP World which will undoubtedly attract more foreign direct investment into Somaliland. We had invested, and will continue to invest a lot of time and effort in creating conducive environment for investment in Somaliland.
Ladies and Gentlemen
With the awarding of the contract, today we are getting much closer to realizing our vision to make Berbera a regional maritime hub in the Horn of Africa, and its development will spur economic growth for the region and boost local prosperity with jobs for the people of Somaliland.
Thank you all.