Published On: Fri, Sep 10th, 2010

SOMALILAND: Bollore Africa Logistics eyes port concessions

NAIROBI (Somalilandpress) — French company Bollore Africa Logistics announced Thursday it won a tender to develop the Port of Berbera in self-declared state of Somaliland to help land- locked Ethiopia ease its maritime and port services needs.

Dominique Lafont, CEO of Bollore Africa Logistics, announced in Nairobi that the facility will help ease Ethiopia import and export needs through maritime transport system and open new income stream for the government of Somaliland.

“We shall be setting the port up as the national port of Ethiopia,” said Lafont.

The port will be run under concession basis, which marks the company’s entry into the infrastructure concessions in East Africa.

The company already manages the ports of Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Cameroon and the Republic of Congo.

It also manages the rail lines of Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Cameroon.

“We are interested in entering concession agreements for ports in East Africa and along the Indian Ocean but the challenge is that most of the ports are run by the governments.”

“We are keen to work along the development of transport systems within the East Africa Common Market,” said Lafont.

The company has a strong presence in East Africa and around 40 African countries through its logistics arm SVD Tansami.

Ethiopia had two ports in Massawa and Assab in its former province, Eritrea but lost them when the province broke away to form an independent nation in 1993.

While it continued to use the same ports, which changed after the two countries went to war in 1998 when Ethiopia started using the port of Djibouti port that is 910 km east of Addis Ababa.

Meanwhile, the company through is local SDV Transami subsidiary has that its dry port facility in the Port of Mombasa will be completed next month.

The 10 million U.S. dollars facility built on a 10 hectare of land will help to decongest the Port of Mombasa that has been losing business to the Port of Dar es Salaam because of inefficiency.

“The intention is to have the new terminal as a holding ground that will ease congestion at the Port of Mombasa,” said SDV Transami’s regional managing director Mr Tony Stenning.

Since 2000, container traffic at the port has grown by eight per cent annually, according to the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).

Source: Xinhua | Saturday, 11 September 2010
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Displaying 23 Comments
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  1. Kayse says:

    This is the kind of investment Somaliland needs, Bollore will spend $700-million on the port and it will serve 100 million Ethiopians and Somalis.

    I say bye bye to little Djibouti now they will all starve, now Ethiopia has Berbera, Mombasa, Lamu and Port Sudan…no more Djibouti port.

    Berbera will also have free zone along with the EASSy optic-fiber cable…its going to boom.

  2. sacada says:

    djibouti is already a hub for telecommunication, did you know somaliland's optic fiber line is conected from litle djibouti, do u know djibouti port is a moderent port. add to that the railway system that can move easily the goods to ethiopia. somaliland is our brothen but djibouti is the best port and soon to be financial hub for east africa.

    • Kayse says:

      If Djibouti was that good, Bollore would not risk $700-million on Berbera. They seen Djibouti port is lacking too small, too hot and uncompetitive and Ethiopia is dissatisfied with its services and fees.

      As for the railway, it was built long before 1940s and since have not received make over. Ethiopia is rehabilitating its own side.

      As for the telecommunication, right now Somaliland is linked to Djibouti thats why they are so unreliable, the reception is horrible and its too expensive to call back home.

      All these will change when they bring the submarine cable in Berbera even though I am not happy giving the Somalilander from Djibouti the contract. However if he fails to deliver he will be dumbed and thats the end of him.

      Cable is not coming from Djibouti but the red sea….

      • mohamed says:

        You have good arguments here. The positive side of Kasy is in motion
        on this one. But some times my mind goes wild when I see the french
        prints every where, you know Somaliland belongs to the British World.
        I dont see any British companies around..what's happening with the
        British business competitions!
        You are also damn right about the Somcable contract to Djibouti.
        Me too not happy it went that direction. It could have been carefully
        weighed and tendered to many international bidders.
        Silaanyo and his advisers were too quick to whatever prompted
        them to submit into such decision…E.G. is there Recognition
        guaranteed promises involved, what's the secret behind giving
        this highly of great value attachments to the security of Somaliland
        simply given a third broker djibouti..doesn't make much sense
        to the patriotic somalilander mindset???

  3. Omar says:

    This video is made by the world bank really good explaing the time for transforming african infrastructure it's 5 mins long WATCH IT!

  4. omararm says:

    Sacada My Sister You don't nothing about the Histry of French Somaliland (Djibuti) or what the french called Easa and Anfor Teratry, you don't know the background of Djibuti. If I give you a hint when we were saying and screeming "jabuutaay ka soo hoyo horokiyo waraabaha" do you what we mean?
    We belief that you are our young brother, although you have tried to give hard times during the civil war but no hard feelings at all.

  5. Jama Hasan says:

    Competition is healthy among Somalis, but what is not healthy is when we fail to have healthy discussions and disagreements setting politics aside. Djibouti has done well for itself and so did Somaliland and both will live in harmony as neighbors without any threat from the other economically or politically. Lets focus on the things that unite us rather than things that divide us since many of the people who work and operate on both side are the same people.

    I am glad to see everyone having mature discussions without resorting to insults.


  6. somali-way-ogaden says:

    I'm still laughing at the fact that Ethiopia is landlocked and has to rely on Somalis.
    This move might benefit Somaliland on the long run but we have to ask ourselves why Djibouti had a change of heart. Either way, I would watch that small print because the first priority is going to Ethiopia.

    • mohamed says:

      Think about the sea ports and less populations.
      Think about landlocked and more populations.
      Either way, Somaliland djiboutiland Somalialand,
      the Somalis sea ports are in pretty good shape for real developments
      where there's relative peace and security across the East African
      Countries and beyond.
      Somaliland because of it's Berbera Port in superior geographical
      location, hopefully certain good binding relationships ought to
      emerge for the benefits of both neighbourly sisterly Nations.

  7. Jay says:

    Berbera is way better and easier to expand and has deep-water facility. Its location means direct road to addis ababa and diredawa…..however Somaliland and Ethiopia still need to construct that highway they been talking about in the past few years… far nothing.

    Maybe Somaliland should spend $100million on its highways from Wajale to Berbera if they get $700-million contract and get Chinese company to finish the project.

    • Jay says:

      Also Somaliland should build food aid warehouses and storage facilities in Wajale with the help of the World Bank and WFP. This means ships carrying food aid for Ethiopia should come a month or two ahead than their usual time and the food should be stored in Wajale warehouses then dispatched when Ethiopia needs it this is alot faster and more organized.

      Also these facilities should be used for food aid for central and southern Somalia then should be carried via the Hawd region with Somaliland and Ethiopian escorts.

  8. Mehmon says:

    Congrats Somaliland! We're happy for you. Hope this will bring development for you guys.

    But I don't understand why you guys are so anti-Djibouti. I mean we didn't do anything to Somaliland, we developed our ports, whats wrong with that?
    But then, even with this project, it is gonna take years for Somaliland to take us over (if the project gets realized at the first place). Besides, did you know that the construction of a third Djibouti port began in Tadjourah? That port will serve northern Ethiopia and they already started the road link from Tadjourah to Ethiopia. So cool down, we're still number 1 in that field for the coming years.

    Anyway, personally I support competition as it will push each one of us to innovate and upgrade its infrastructures in order to keep the biggest part of the Ethiopian market, so having a modern port at Berbera will force our ports to modernize even more in order to keep its lead in that field. So its good for us too in the long term.

    • Jay says:

      We have nothing against Djibouti, come on they are 500,000, basically the same size as Burao.

      It's just that Djibouti tried every thing to block Somaliland development, so we are telling you, your just a tiny desert and regional powers will block you and isolate you if you dont becareful with Somaliland.

      Djibouti did make progress in certain ways but that growth is very limited and may has already reached its peak. No natural resources either, no farm lands.

      As for doing business with Ethiopia, Somaliland will out supply Djibouti in many ways, you talking about two ports, Somaliland can build port in Berbera, Xiis, Meyd, Las Qorey, Zeyla, etc….has far longer coast and bigger land…no competition there.

      Competition is good and Somaliland is already making the region sweat, once we fix few things including the port and roads, we are in full swing.

      First step right now is Berbera and it will martialize if Bollore dont invest so many others are in line to do so including British firms.

      • mehmon says:

        When did we block Somaliland's development? What did Djibouti do against Somaliland? Blaming others to justify one's failures is a universal technique, I understand. I really don't understand why so much "hate" against Djibouti from Somalilander forumers (I went to Hargeysa and Borame, people are friendly)? The situation is different on the internet. One question though, is that envy toward Djibouti?
        " Your just a tiny desert" you say, but let me remind you that the citizens of that "tiny desert" have the highest standard of living in the whole region. The GDP per capita of Djibouti is even higher than oil producing Sudan, let alone Somaliland or Ethiopia. Thousands of Somalilanders, Ethiopians and Yemenis immigrate in that"tiny desert". That "tiny desert" without natural resources grants its citizens more than any other country in the region. So come on man…

        We love Somaliland and its people, they're our brothers, do not create unnecessary tensions.

    • Omar says:

      Haha i have nothing against you if you speak somali then your somalian in my eyes haha well i dont have this cultural thing against other somalis (clans)
      maybe because im 20 years old and live in europe. The ting is i hope that one day somalia will become like Germany in the past. A lot of few states joins to one super power. But maybe that will be in the future who knows maybe in 80 years our children will live in the greater somalia

  9. Hassan says:

    Djiboutian government is not need to have invested the port Djibouti, we have more moderated then even France does not have we also have a lot friend’s American, Dubai and Japanese has already started an investment in Djibouti, in other hand Somaliland is recognized by the international communities nor has no insurance for long term stabilities, there is ethnic war in “Somaliland & puntland” for France it is two late having the port in Djibouti while Dubai has successfully managed, However Djibouti is vieage and there is more opportunities

  10. Hasan says:

    There is no deal folks. The minister responsible himself denied that there was no agreement sign with Bollore. He also stated that the previous adminstration felt the company's offer did not meet their standard and offers no tangible benefits. I don't understand why the media decimates unfounded stories that mislead people. I feel it is a shame on their part that they are not doing the basic job of verifying story. Source is said to be Xinhua. This either means the company mislead the press or Xinhua is decimating misleading information.

  11. mohamed says:

    The Djiboutien Regimes found political advantages at the failed
    and dysfunctional conflicts of the S.D.R. which was born out of the Military
    Coup Detat of 1969 and it's overthrown in 1991…Ever since then that Tiny Desert
    has been reaping the golden chicken soups to it's gains…playing the
    hard ball with all the other Somalis including the Somaliland you guys are now talking about. However the future outlook from now forward tend to point out to be
    changing the dnamics of the old ways of doing politics as usual and there's
    no doubt in my mind that the politics of the Horn of Africa in particular
    and even that of the East Africa in general and even the progressive countries the world over are looking for ways and means to bring about a new world
    orders since the current world orders have been over-rused and over-exhausted
    and have become in most parts dangerously unsustainable cavaities.
    in this respect, Somaliland leadership have to align their interests with
    the British And Americans GCC developers and the rest to follow.

  12. mohamed says:


    By the way the Yemen, The Somalis, the Ethiopians, The Eriterians,
    the Sudanians, in the Horn, in the Redsea and Indian Ocean the other E.A. Counteries in the African Indian Ocean, basins could be developed in
    the same ways the GCC were developed by the British and Usa and
    all the other Industrialised Countries. The new World should find ways to
    minimise Military conflicts and create a peaceful world of global Economic
    and peaceful co-exists of all the human races, empowering the UN World
    Body under the norms of Justices of IN GOD WE TRUST codes of conduct.
    Needless to say, the new pragmatic politics and policies of President Obama must not be misinterpreted and misunderstood. There's a whole goodwill
    catches to it than the old ideologies tending to wear out in grey fashion
    without fresh promises into the new challenges of the C21st into the unknown
    more than the known???

  13. Omar says:

    If this is true then they should invest like $300 millions (2,1 billion SEK) on different infrastructure projects in a 5 year period. To transform the infrastructure this will jump start the economy and make it more invest able. Use $100 on building schools, hospitals and strengthen the governments institution such as professional teachers, nurses, police and tax authority's. This also in a 5 year period, the rest should be saved for crises and reserves now when they have sold the port that contributes the most to the fiscal budget have been lost. But i think it's for the good now we all know that they wouldn't have the means to modernize the port.

  14. Friend of Somaliland says:

    How can Berbera be the National Port of Ethiopia!!!??? Ethiopia need Somaliland and it is Somaliland that should have the advantage and upper hand with the development of Berbera Port and not the other way around!!!

  15. HASSAN says:

    As far as I am concerned, we the people of the Horn of African nations: Ethiopians, Somalis, Djiboutians and Eritreans are of the same people. We should all be working towards the eventuality of uniting of our countries into one great nation. ..and call the new nation Horn of Africa.

  16. Harry says:

    This could potentially benefit both Ethiopia and Somaliland itself. All they have to do is properly develop the area, get the right personnel, and install an efficient warehouse management software.

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