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New "Major International Port" Considered for Horn of Africa

Ship and Bunker
Thursday, January 9, 2014

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Somaliland, the self-declared sovereign state in the north of Somalia, is finalising a multi-million dollar deal to develop a port at Berbera, on the Gulf of Aden, All Africa reports.

"After six months of negotiations, an agreement has been put on the table, which is highly exciting, from one of the world's best port operators," says human rights lawyer Jason McCue, who is assembling investors for the $2.5bn logistics hub.

"The moment is there for Somaliland."

McCue declined to comment on the exact size of the port investment, saying only that it would be "hundreds of millions" and the largest foreign direct investment in Somaliland's 22 year history.
"That port will become a major international port," he says.

The new port intends to serve as an African /Arab trade hub, and according to an envoy working on the deal, would provide an export gateway for its landlocked neighbour Ethiopia, whose annual exports of goods that include coffee and gold were valued by The Economist in 2010 at $US1.4 billion.

"We want to develop the corridor between Berbera and Ethiopia because that is really the lifeline," says Somaliland's foreign ministerMohamed Bihi Yonis.

"We are all aiming at Ethiopia and we believe that we could provide support to a third of the population of Ethiopia."

And Yonis believes Somaliland, which declared independence from Somalia in 1991, is on the verge of receiving international recognition as a country.

"It will happen soon," says Yonis, adding that Somalia's government "have accepted the understanding that... it is in the best interests of everybody to move things forward."



 





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