Dubai-headquartered terminal operator DP World has partnered with the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor CDC group to create a $1.7bn investment platform aimed at modernisation and expansion of ports and inland logistics across Africa, starting in the ports of Dakar in Senegal, Sokhna in Egypt and Berbera in Somaliland.
The platform covers a long-term investment period. DP World is contributing its stakes in the three existing ports initially and expects to invest a further $1bn through the platform over the next several years. CDC is committing approximately $320m initially and should invest up to a further $400m over the next several years.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO, DP World, said: “The partnership with CDC Group will enable increased investment in ports and logistics infrastructure across Africa, driving efficiency and trade growth. It will create transformational opportunities for tens of millions of people over the next decade.”
Nick O’Donohoe, CEO of CDC, added: “Stable and flourishing economies are built on reliable access to global and intra-continental trade. Africa’s full potential is limited by inadequate ports and trade bottlenecks, putting the brakes on economic growth in some of the world’s fastest-growing economies and undermining social resilience in the least developed parts of the world. This platform will help entrepreneurs and businesses accelerate growth with access to reliable trade routes, and it will help African consumers benefit from the improved reliability and reduced cost of vital goods and food staples.”
The platform will invest in origin and destination ports, inland container depots, economic zones and other logistics across Africa to increase trade, create new job opportunities and broaden access to essential goods. It will initially be seeded with minority stakes in existing DP World assets with significant capacity expansion plans. Trade enabled through the ongoing expansions is expected to create an additional 138,000 employment opportunities in the wider economy. By 2035, the ports are expected to support stable employment for around 5m people indirectly.