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The Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority (DPFZA) celebrated the inauguration of new ports at an event held for customers at Addis Ababa on Friday September 15.
At the event, attended by higher officials from the two countries and international organizations, Aboubaker Omar Hadi, chairman of DPFZA said that bilateral relations between Ethiopia and Djibouti – a relationship which is both historic and multifaceted – are reaching new heights.
“Nowhere is this more in evidence than the profound leaps we are making in regional economic integration which is a source of strength for both countries,” he added.
Hadi said that the new railway line linking Addis Ababa to Djibouti Port, with a 756-kilometre track will dramatically cut journey times from two days by truck, to just 8 hours. “It will be the stimulus for economic development across our region,” he said.
Recently, Djibouti inaugurated the biggest ever port facility, Doraleh Multi-purpose Port, which can manage a huge amount of incoming and outgoing cargo from Ethiopia, which primarily uses ports in Djibouti for its export/import activity.
This year has also seen the inauguration of Tadjourah Port, in the north of Djibouti. It represents another key component in our economic integration. The state of the art facilities at Tadjourah will soon play a central role in the export of potash from Ethiopia, according to Hadi.
“These world class infrastructure projects are the result of twenty years of massive investments from the government of Djibouti. But there is still much more to do, with the super highway and railways linking the Red Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, across the continent,” the chairman said.
The port officials also stated that the authority is developing the Djibouti International Free Trade Zone (DIFTZ), which will provide a much-needed logistics base for companies operating in the country. Djibouti will be better able to serve the customers of the Ports of Djibouti with a range of facilities and multi-modal transport infrastructures.
In the past few years of successful growth Ethiopia has replaced Kenya as the biggest economic power in the east African region.
Hadi said that as Ethiopia overtakes Kenya to become the East Africa region’s leading economy, the Djibouti corridor was detrimental and stands ready to boost Ethiopia to take full advantage of its human and natural resource potential for its industrial development.
Ethiopia’s international competitiveness depends on improving logistics, cutting trading transaction times, and therefore reducing costs. “For this to happen, we are examining our infrastructure together, as one coherent project spanning across the different regions of our two countries,” the DPFZA chairman said during his speech at Sheraton Addis.
Ahmed Shide, Ministry of Transport, Saad Omar Guelleh, head of Port of Djibouti, Carlos Lopes, and former executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, and Clarence Rodriguez, CEO of Doraleh Container Terminal attended the event.