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UAE strengthens Horn of Africa role

The UAE is expanding its activities in the port and logistics sectors in the Horn of Africa with P&O Ports having recently secured a 30-year investment and operating concession for the development of a port at Bosaso, Somalia.
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The city is located approximately 2,000km north of the capital Mogadishu in the state of Puntland, a region that is extremely poor and which has been a base for pirates launching raids into the Indian Ocean.

P&O Ports, which is owned by the UAE Government, will spend an estimated US$336M over two phases on developing a multipurpose cargo-handling facility that will feature a 450m quay, with a depth alongside of 12m, and 5ha storage yard. The port operator will also acquire cranes, most likely mobile harbour cranes as these have the operational flexibility to handle a wide range of cargoes, and yard equipment. The exact number of units will be specified nearer to the completion of phase 1.

Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, president of the state of Puntland, said: “This investment is a huge undertaking in Puntland and will greatly contribute to the infrastructure development in Somalia. Infrastructure development is a priority for the government of Puntland as it underpins the efforts of taking this country forward.”

Meanwhile, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, which owns P&O Ports, said: “The Port of Bosaso is a unique opportunity to enter into a multi-purpose port that is transitioning to containerisation in a country that is growing strongly as it enters a period of sustained peace. It fits ideally into P&O Port’s mandate to invest in multipurpose ports in emerging markets, employing local people and developing skills.”

Sulayem is also chairman and CEO of DP World, which with development and operations in Berbera (Somaliland), Djibouti and Sokhna (Egypt) is a major player in this part of Africa.
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