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Partnerships are key to unlocking Africa’s vast potential : DP World CEO

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DUBAI : DP World’s Group Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem has called for unlocking private sector infrastructure investments in Africa to address the challenges faced by the continent’s development.

Speaking at the 2nd Dakar African Infrastructure Financing Summit in Senegal, he said that the cost of moving goods domestically around Africa is five times higher than in the US and urged for more partnerships to address the gap.

“Investing in the continent’s trading infrastructure, as we have in Dakar, is central to transforming African economies,” he said.

Bin Sulayem explained that improving trade across Africa can boost local exports, create employment and reduce pollution.

He further stated that the new road transport centre for delivery trucks in Kigali has reduced waiting times for land transport from weeks to days and lowered storage costs, making Kigali a major logistics hub in East Africa and facilitating connections between regional businesses and global markets.

The hub benefits the entire region by supporting local businesses and the Rwandan economy, and DP World, which has a 98 per cent Rwandan workforce, is committed to creating the best access for trade in Rwanda and neighboring landlocked countries, he continued.

“DP World strives for partnerships that go beyond financial contributions and enhance employment, local infrastructure, and GDP, and aim to build institutional capacity for local communities to take control of their future,” he noted.

DP World has invested over $1.8 billion in Africa over the past decade and plans to invest $3 billion more in the coming years. The company will jointly be investing $837 million to develop the Port of Ndayane with the Port Authority of Dakar and British International Investment.

Bin Sulayem emphasised that partnerships need to be multi-dimensional and have a positive impact on local communities, such as enhancing employment and infrastructure.

Held under the patronage of Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and Chairman of the African Union, the summit encouraged collaboration and partnerships for effective infrastructure development across the continent.

Other speakers included Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, Mostafa Madbouly, Prime Minister of Egypt, Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Afreximbank and David Robert Malpass, President of the World Bank Group.

According to the Brookings Institute, by the end of this century, Africa could have a population of over four billion and a GDP of up to $16 trillion by 2050. DP World has been investing in Africa for over 20 years, covering ports, terminals, economic zones, and logistics. In the last decade, they have invested $1.8 billion with plans for another $3 billion in the coming years.

In partnership with Senegal, DP World, the Port Authority of Dakar, and British International Investment will jointly invest $837 million to develop the Port of Ndayane, which aims to transform Senegal into a major logistics hub for west and northwest Africa. Ndayane is the largest private investment in the West African country, located around 50 km south of Dakar. Rwanda serves as an example of how trade can drive economic transformation. DP World Kigali is a facility in the heart of central Africa, more than 1,500 km from the nearest ports. Spread over 20 hectares on the outskirts of the capital, the facility offers 50,000 cubic meters of warehouse space and handles up to 50,000 containers annually, functioning like a traditional seaport. 

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