UAE port and logistics infrastructure firm keen on Zimbabwe
Dubai (New Ziana) -DP World, a state owned United Arab Emirates logistics infrastructure development company, has set its sights on further cooperation with Harare by developing special railway corridors which will enhance trade between Zimbabwe and other countries.
Early this week, DP World and Britain’s development finance agency CDC Group announced plans to jointly invest up to $1.72 billion in logistics infrastructure in Africa over the next several years.
The investments will initially focus on expanding ports operated by DP World in Egypt’s Ain Sokhna, Senegal’s Dakar and Berbera in Somalia’s breakaway region of Somaliland.
The joint investments will eventually be expanded to other regions in Africa, in what DP World and CDC hope will accelerate inbound and outbound trade for the continent.
For Zimbabwe, DP World intends to facilitate the development of Zimbabwe’s railway services utilizing the Maputo port.
In June this year, DP World Maputo, which has the concession to manage, develop and operate the Maputo container terminal, introduced a bi-weekly dedicated container train service connecting Maputo and Harare.
The new service is part of the company’s continued focus to expand its logistics and supply chain offering in the region, and key to its vision to connect several countries in Southern Africa – namely Maputo with South Africa, Zimbabwe and Swaziland – by rail.
The route is expected to enhance DP World Maputo’s position as a gateway to Zimbabwe with plans underway to make the train service a weekly.
DP World senior vice president for the Middle East and Africa region Suhail AlBanna said the company was eager to replicate in Zimbabwe and the Southern African region the work it was carrying out in other parts of Africa.
“What we did with Rwanda is that we reduced the cost of transportation which helped the farmers there to be competitive at a global level, the most important thing is efficiency and the cost and speed of delivery of these items. So from that perspective what we want to partner with Zimbabwe rail is to create multiple dry ports wherever the consolidation of agriculture and population and trade is happening in the country so that we have the exclusivity in terms of the export and imports of the products,” he said.
Earlier, DP World group chairman and chief executive officer Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem reaffirmed their commitment to developing logistics infrastructure in Africa.
“We are very passionate about Africa. The potential in Africa is very big and that is why we are investing,” he said.
Buttressing, Vice President General Constantino Chiwenga (Rtd) said ; “Our own area (of particular interest) is the development of the Maputo port which is going to benefit three countries Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe. But more importantly is that cargo from the north is also going to pass through Zimbabwe going to the port of Maputo so it is not only Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique which are going to benefit, but also countries in the north from the DRC, this is an area which is going to be developed further and much quicker by the Ministries responsible, “he said.
“The Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development Honourable (Felix) Mhona will be coming here shortly and they will go into further discussions on these issues. SO this has been a very important meeting with DP World which is building infrastructure and for Zimbabwe this is now going to help in our export of agricultural produce, our products from the mining sector, from industry. They are also going to send their working party to Zimbabwe. ”
Industry and commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza said Zimbabwe was thrilled to be getting this sort of attention at Expo2020-Dubai.
“The opportunities we are seeing here, speak of the re-engagement agenda , Zimbabwe is open for business and it is very exciting,” she said.
“What we saw here is a major interest in basically engaging Zimbabwe and tapping upon the resources that we have.”