ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – Ethiopia to widen choices over ports: Ethiopia wants to reduce its dependency on the Port of Djibouti by developing links with Mombasa Port in Kenya, Berbera Port in Somaliland, and Port Sudan in Sudan writes JOHN SAMBO.
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Presently, well over 90% of Ethiopia’s imports and exports pass through Djibouti Port at the mouth of the Red Sea.
In February this year, Workeneh Gebeyehu, the Minister for Transport while briefing the Federal legislature said, “Five to 10% of the country’s imports are planned to come through the port of Berbera (Somaliland), and we will be looking for proper ports for different areas of the country. But the Port of Djibouti continues to be the major one,” he said.
Djibouti port is administered by DP World Djibouti, a subsidiary of DP World. This global handling company was formed in September of 2005 with the integration of the terminal operations of the Dubai Ports Authority (DPA). It currently oversees 65 marine terminals across six continents, including Africa’s biggest port, Durban in South Africa.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is backing the Ethiopian move to widen its options of ports.
In November 2014, a 12 member Ethiopian delegation was in Somaliland to inspect port and fuel storage facilities.
According to Kenya Engineer, the use by Ethiopia of Mombasa Port will serve as an outlet for goods mainly from the southern part of Ethiopia.
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The publication states, ‘Using the port and the Mombasa Corridor will also connect Ethiopia to the markets of the East African Community (EAC). Road works are underway in Ethiopia and will connect to Kenya’s fully paved roads leading to Mombasa Port.
‘The approval process is also underway in Kenya to widen the road from four to six lanes from Mariakani to Mombasa. At least some of the Ethiopian goods destined for export markets will make use of the expanding port facilities in Mombasa.’