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Djibouti to finalize construction of four ports
Transactions, port clearing procedures, documentation and billing systems and the like are targeted to be digitalized

Djibouti to finalize construction of four ports

Port authority denies new price-set following digital system installations

The construction of four new ports in Djibouti at a total cost of some USD 900 million is set to be finalized within six months, it was learnt.

Aboubakar Hadi, CEO of Port of Djibouti and free zones administration (DP World), who was participating at the “Africa 2016: Business for Africa, Egypt and the World”, a high-level business and investment meeting, told The Reporter in Sharm el-Sheikh the Port of Tadjourah, Doraleh Multipurpose Port, Damerjog Livestock Port and Port of Ghoubet are the four major ports that the government of Djibouti has been developing at a total cost of USD 900 million. Some of the ports are expected to be operational even by the end of this year, he added.

Accordingly, the Port of  Tadjuourah will operate the export and imports of minerals, mainly potash. The port of Ghoubet will mainly handle the export of salts mostly from Djibouti.

The CEO said that the transactions, port clearing procedures, documentation and billing systems and the like are targeted to be digitalized to avoid paperwork once and for all. “We want to have a paperless system put in place. This way both importers and exporters will be able to monitor cargos anytime, anywhere”.

The move to become a digital friendly port administration, however, has been contended by the Ethiopian side saying it has additional cost implications on each container cleared via the digital system. According to some Ethiopian businesspersons, some 30 dollars are levied per container shipment. However, Hadi denied that the reverse is true. 

To that effect, he says that tariffs, such as freight forwarding, have gained a considerable amount of reduction. Previously, the tariff, he said, was USD 200 per container. Currently, that has been adjusted to be USD 60, Hadi explained. Both the Ethiopian and the Djiboutian authorities meet regularly every two months.

A new railway line is set to become fully operational by the Ethiopian side and that is expected to decrease the number of cargo handled by the port. In that regard, Hadi said that the fast movement of cargo benefits the port since it will no longer cause congestions.

In addition, two pipelines are planned to be stretched from Ethiopia to the Port of Djibouti. One of the pipelines is dedicated to the export of gas from Ethiopia. The other pipeline is dedicated to import refined fuel to the country.

Similarly, both Djibouti and Ethiopia are connected via roads and a water project is almost finalizing construction to pipe ground water from Ethiopia to Djibouti. Ethiopia, on its part, relies heavily on Djibouti for its telecom cables connectivity. The cables stretch all the way to Japan and connects Ethiopia to the rest of the  world.