DP World, a leading shipping company and pioneer enabler of global trade based in Dubai, has stated that the key to rapid African economic growth lies in removal of barriers, increased connectivity between nations and infrastructure development.
Speaking to African leaders and top executives at a recent forum in Dakar Senegal, DP World’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, argued that Africa has immense yet untapped potential in the global trade arena.
“We believe in the viability of Africa, we believe in investing in the continent during our investment in Senegal we improved efficiency and volumes 135 percent in 10 years,” Mr Bin Sulayem told an audience at an event dubbed the Africa Emergence Conference 2019 in Dakar, Senegal.
Addressing a panel on how private institutions can help support emergence in Africa with President Macky Sall of Senegal and Prime Minister Mahatir Mohammed of Malaysia, Mr Bin Sulayem explained how economic emergence is dependent on increasing inter African trade and infrastructure development.
“The Removal of trade barriers is very important. In Africa tariffs are 50% higher in than in Latin America and Asia,” he said. “Intra-regional trade in Africa is only 12% while in Europe, Asia and Latin America is over 50%, we need to improve this to prosper,” he said.
Mr Bin Sulayem reiterated the company’s commitment to supporting the economic growth of Senegal and developing Dakar into a major logistics hub and gateway for West Africa during the panel with President Macky Sall. He noted that DP World has the extensive expertise and know-how that can help African countries realise their trade and infrastructure goals. His sentiments come at a time when DP World currently has operations in Senegal, Egypt, Mozambique, Somaliland, Rwanda and Algeria and has recently signed an agreement with the Republic Mali to develop a logistics platform and the Democratic Republic of Congo for the countries first deep-sea port.
“The Price of container moving from Shanghai to an East African port is anywhere between $500 and $1000, the price of same container from the port to Kigali is $5000,” he noted in a bid to highlight disparities in Africa’s shipping industry.
President Macky Sall of Senegal echoed his remarks, and told the Audience that DP World has helped in Senegal’s continued development.
“In Senegal we have experienced a change because DP World was present before I became President with a concession of 25 years at the Port of Dakar,” he said.
President Sall added that the government and DP World are working together finalise new port investments in Senegal.
“Country stability is essential but also the stability of the contracts between the State and the private sector to develop foreign investment. It is evident that the public investment cannot satisfy the basic needs of the population so we need to work with private sector,” he concluded.