Friday, November 6, 2009

Djibouti’s transport network spearheads national economic growth

APA-Djibouti (Djibouti) 04-11-2009

Following its independence in 1977, Djibouti had chosen a service-based economy and therefore had implemented some projects with the purpose of developing its transport network.

The choice of Djiboutian authorities meant for developing logistics proves to be a national priority which lies on the fact that the country has a unique geostrategic position within the Horn of Africa region.

Thus, it serves as a transit centre and a hub of economic activities on a regional and international level.

Transports are a major wealth generating activity in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with a rate of almost 37% in 2007, as reported in a document published recently by the Ministry of Equipment and Transports, from COMESA’s interdepartmental meetings.

The transport sector plays a key role as a strategy for reducing poverty in Djibouti given that it provides about 10,000 jobs in a country with an unemployment rate exceeding 60%.

The existence of ultra modern port infrastructures (such as the port of Doraleh), of road infrastructures in good conditions as well as the geostrategic position of Djibouti, which is the crossroads of sea routes, definitely account for the major role the logistics sector plays in the economy of the country.

Ports serve as focal points for transport activities, particularly the Djibouti International Autonomous Port (PAID) and the port of Doraleh as well as the Djibouti-Ethiopian road corridor, which is closely related to port activities.

In 2008, the PAID, which is managed since 2000 by Dubai Port World, made the highest performance in its history with more than 243,000 TEU and almost 9 million tons of goods treated.

As for road transports, they made a lot of progress due to the closing of the Eritrean port of Assad as a result of the ongoing conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

The number of trucks has increased from 89,000 in 2000, to over 171,445, in 2008, 98% of which come from Ethiopia whereas only 2% are operated by local freight agents.