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The Dubai based logistics giant DP World and the government of Ethiopian officially disclosed the Ethiopian 19 percent stake buyout on the Berbera Port, while it has been stated when the government of Somaliland and DP World concluded a management deal last year.
The Dubai company that has been operating a port in Djibouti, has been agreed with the self-proclaimed Somaliland from Somalia to manage the operation of Berbera Port, one of the oldest port in the region.
The company has mainly targeted Ethiopia, the most populated country of the world without a sea port.
To attain the demand the company and Somaliland has decided to offer a stake for Ethiopia on the port, according to experts.
“Berbera would be a good option for the central part of Ethiopia in terms of nearness after the ports in Djibouti and Eritrea, while it is the best for the south eastern part of the country,” experts said.
On the statement issued on March 1, DP World and Ethiopia officially concluded their deals.
“Ethiopia will become a shareholder of the Port of Berbera following the signing of an agreement with DP World and the Somaliland Port Authority in Dubai,” the company statement said.
It has been reported that DP World will hold a 51 percent stake in the project, Somaliland 30 percent and Ethiopia the remaining 19 percent. The government of Ethiopia will also invest in infrastructure to develop the Berbera Corridor as a trade gateway for the inland country. Ethiopia has already connected the highway with Somaliland’s boarder with asphalt road.
The statement added that there are also plans to construct an additional berth at the Port of Berbera, in line with the Berbera master plan, which DP World has already started implementing, while adding new equipment to further improve efficiencies and productivity.
“After a year of serious negotiations, Ethiopia has concluded an agreement with the Somaliland Ports Authority and DP World that will give the government of Ethiopia 19% stake in the joint venture developing the Port of Berbera,” Ahmed Shide, Minister of Transport, said. “The agreement will help Ethiopia secure an additional logistical gateway for its ever increasing import and export trade driven by its growing population and economy,” he added.
Currently the country is mainly using ports in Djibouti, while Berbera has been served as a way to import aid cargos in the past years.
DP World agreed with the government of Somaliland to invest USD 442 million for the expansion of the old port and development of other facilities. The company has also announced that it will establish economic free zone to complement the development of the Port of Berbera.
The horn African self-independent country claimed that it will get recognition from governments, international organization and community.
Somaliland was granted independence on June 26, 1960 from the British colony and immediately recognized by the UN. It then unified with Italy Somaliland, who got independence on July 1, 1960, and formed the then Republic of Somalia.