The European Business Council for Africa

BCA: The Djibouti railway story

the Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority

Port and infrastructure expansion in Djibouti

Djibouti is making investments in excess of $15 billion in new infrastructure, including four new ports.

The ports – together with projects to build a Liquefied Natural Gas facility, an oil terminal, and two brand new airports – will dramatically expand Djibouti’s ability to serve as a platform and trade hub for East African countries and African countries beyond the region.

The ports target several different sectors, from minerals to livestock. Two are already operational – the ports of Tadjourah and Goubet. The ultra-modern Doraleh Multi-Purpose Port (DMP) is due to be inaugurated in May 2017. 

The present Port of Djibouti is administered and managed by the Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority (DPFZA). DPFZA has responsibility for all the country’s port development.

The port is a gateway to one of the fastest growing regions of the world with 30,000 ships transiting the port each year. Goods from Asia represent 59%, with 21% coming from Europe and 16% from elsewhere in Africa. In 2015, overall traffic to Djibouti increased by nearly 20%, reaching approximately 5.7 million tonnes.

The first of the four new ports being built is for the export of potassium for Ethiopia. The second is dedicated to livestock export. Djibouti currently exports two million head of cattle to the Middle East - the new port will export ten million.

The third port – a joint venture with a Chinese company – is for the export of salt from Lake Assal, the largest salt deposit in the world. The fourth - the Doraleh Multi-Purpose Port (DMP) – will replace the current multipurpose port.  

Aboubaker Omar Hadi, Chairman of the DPFZA comments: “Modern transport links are vital to national and global prosperity. Without quick and reliable routes to move goods – and the facilities needed to handle them – Africa’s development will be held back”.