By Darell King
The UAE has rendered a great service to Ethiopia, through the port of Berbera in Somaliland, by allowing the Ethiopian ship “Phoebe” for the first time in 20 years to provide shipping services in the port of Berbera.
According to the Ethiopian News Agency, the ship “Phoebe” arrived at the port of Berbera last Monday, carrying 11,200 tons of sugar and rice from the Indian subcontinent.
According to the agency, the ship, Phoebe, was welcomed by the Ethiopian Shipping Services Corporation, and she was received at the port by the CEO of the Corporation, Rupa Majrsa, the Ethiopian Consul General in Somalia, Saeed Mohamed Jibril, and other officials from the Dubai Port World Authority.
Dubai port deal
DP World had signed a $442 million agreement with the Somaliland government to operate a regional trade and logistics center in Berbera port in May 2016. The project, which was implemented in phases, also included the establishment of a free zone.
On 1 March 2018, Ethiopia became a major shareholder after an agreement with DP World and Somaliland Ports Authority. DP World owns 51% of the project, Somaliland 30% and Ethiopia the remaining 19%.
The construction of the Berbera Pass was an integral part of the contract agreement between the government of Somaliland and the United Arab Emirates and its subsidiary DP World.
road network deal
Last May, the UAE signed a $1 billion deal with Ethiopia aimed at developing an infrastructure for a road network to link Addis Ababa to the port of Berbera in Somalia.
According to a statement issued by DP World at the time, the Emirati company and Ethiopia signed a memorandum of understanding worth one billion dollars to develop road infrastructure and supply chain in Ethiopia, to link the landlocked country with a port Berbera in Somalia.
The two parties will work to establish a joint logistics company for operations, including dry ports, silos, warehouses, container yards, cold storage and cold chain, the statement added.
Ethiopia aims to diversify port access facilities and services to improve access to the trade corridor, and Ethiopian Transport Minister Dagmawet Moges said in a statement that the use of the Berbera corridor will certainly have potential to make Ethiopia a leader in logistics.