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REGIONS MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA


DPWORLD’SINVESTMENTWILLMAKE DAKARTHEKEYPORTINWESTAFRICA


MakingSenegala regionaltradehub


DUBAI’S DPWORLD HAS AN AMBITIOUS PLAN TO TRANSFORM WEST AFRICA’S TRADE LANDSCAPE. JASON MITCHELL REPORTS


D


ubai-based logistics company DP World is investing $1.1bn in a new container port close


to Dakar, the Senegalese capital, with the potential to turnthe country into the maritime gateway to west Africa. The new port will be located at


Ndayane, about 50kmdownthe coast from the existing highly-congested port of Dakar, and close to Blaise Diagne International Airport (which opened in 2017 and took in $620m of


investment by the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, and Agence Française de Développement). The port’s con- struction is expected to start next year and be completed by 2026. DP World’s concession enjoys two 25-year terms and starts once opera- tions begin. Ndayane will be a modern, deep water


port, with up to 3km of quayside when fully completed. The $837m phase one of the devel- opment includes a new container terminal with 840 metres of quay and a new 5km chan- nel designed to serve 336-metre vessels and capable of handling the world’s largest ships. The $290m phase two will include 410 metres of additional container quay and a further dredging of the marine channel to handle 400- metre vessels. The container terminal will occupy up to 300 hectares of land, while the port’s maritime infrastructure will take up a further 600 hectares. DP World also plans to develop a special economic zone (SEZ) adja- cent to the new port.


Buildingongrowth “Senegal has been one of the fastest-growing countries in Africa and we believe it has strong potential for further economic growth,” says Suhail Albanna, the chief executive officer of


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DP World Middle East and Africa region. “The development of a new deepwater port will rein- force Dakar’s role as a major logistics hub and gateway towest and north-west Africa. Modern, efficient and competitive ports are key to driv- ing economic growth, and Senegal sees the importance of this strategic sector to its future development and position as a key trade hub.” The francophone west African country,


with an estimated gross domestic product of $24.4bn in 2020 and a population of 16.8 mil- lion, saw average economic growth of 6.38% between 2014 and 2019, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). However, it estimates that the economy expanded by only 1% last year, losing around six percentage points of growth because of the pandemic. It is in the process of revising down its forecast of 5.2% growth this year because of the global impact of the Covid-19 second wave. “The new port will unblock Dakar,” says


Victoria Billing, the UK’s ambassador to Senegal. “The city’s downtown area close to the existing port is gridlocked. That port can- not expand any further and is not big enough for modern container ships. DP World’s investment will make Dakar the key port in west Africa. The existing port [already] han- dles around two-thirds of all Mali’s trade, for example, but cannot cope with any further growth in traffic.”


Looking further The transit corridor between Dakar and Bamako, the Malian capital, carries an average of 700 trucks per day between the two cities, according to Vallis Group, a marine and cargo servicescompany. The Senegalese government, led by president Macky Sall since 2012 – also wants to build a modern $2bn, 1500km rail- way line between DP World’s new port at


www.fDiIntelligence.com April/May 2021


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