UAE takes a 30-year lease on Port of Berbera
20 May 2016 - Dedebits, the present day leaders of Ethiopia have welcomed the Dubai-based DP World company’s agreement to invest US$ 442 million dollars in Somaliland than in its arch-enemy Eritrea, according to a senior Ethiopian government official.
DP World company has signed an agreement with the Government of Somaliland to invest and manage the Berbera port which is located 937Km east of Addis Ababa under concession for 30 years.
Nearly 98 percent of Ethiopia’s import and export cargo is shuttled via the ports in Djibouti. Less than two percent of this load, largely of food aid, come through Berbera, which has only five berths.
Ethiopia, which sent senior officials to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in October 2015, to plead Dubai’s rulers that their country was unhappy about DP World’s prospects in Assab in Eritrea which is less distance than Berbera, is hell-bent to stop any investments to Asmara despite poor road infrastructure linking mainland Ethiopia to Berbera.
“We are better off having the UAE investing in Somaliland than in Eritrea,” Said Werqneh Gebeyehu, Ethiopia’s Minister of Transport. He added, “We would not like to see any investment going to Eritrea, and we welcome the agreement DP World has now signed with Somaliland.”
Mulugeta Assefa, president of the Ethiopian Freight Forwarders & Shipping Association, has also said. “Certainly, we need alternative ports other than those in Eritrea.”
Three months ago, Eritrea had accepted Western countries request to help elevate the 20 million starving Ethiopians with its ports to accommodate the relief service as the Djibouti port was not sufficient enough to handle with the aid cargos. The Dedebits rejected Eritrea’s good humanitarian gesture.