Seatrade Maritime is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Out of Africa…via DP World

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem
DP World is ready and willing to partner African nations whose economies continue to be stifled by poor seaport and supply chain infrastructure.

That was the key takeaway from a recent tour of countries across the continent by Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and ceo of the Dubai-headquartered global terminal operator.

Sulayem, who also serves as chairman of Dubai’s Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC), was touting DP World’s global trade capabilities, notably in Nigeria where a meeting with Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode was arranged to explore ways to develop the country’s logistics framework.

DP World has existing operations in Senegal, Egypt, Mozambique, Djibouti, and Algeria and recently signed an agreement with the Republic of Somaliland to invest in a multi-purpose port project at Berbera. It also secured a 25-year concession to develop and operate a new logistics centre in Kigali, Rwanda, earlier this year.

But a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by DP World last year, has found inadequate infrastructure elsewhere is a slowing African trade integration with the global economy.

The “Africa at the Crossroads: Bridging the Infrastructure Gap” report pinpointed vessel turnaround times which lag well behind other markets as a key area of concern and also highlighted the need to develop other modes of transport, particularly rail given the vast expanses of the continent.

Sulayem has welcomed a range of policies gaining momentum, from regional free trade agreements to improved public-private partnership frameworks. However, he highlighted DP World’s expertise across its global portfolio of 77 marine and inland terminals across six continents as a blueprint for Africa’s emerging economies. More specifically, he said the terminal operator’s role in Dubai’s supply chain development showed its worth to potential partners across the region.

“In countries such as Nigeria and others across the continent, senior officials expressed a genuine determination to overcome obstacles to economic development, especially the inability of infrastructure to keep pace with the strong growth on the continent in the past few years,” Sulayem said.

“We expressed our readiness to support the efforts being made to develop ports and logistics centres.

“The productive partnerships we have forged with governments, especially in Africa, which represents a major part of our network, underlines how public and private sector organisations working together can look to develop the infrastructure needed to support economic growth and attract investment.“