Walvis port expansion key priority


Thursday, April 13, 2017 - 09:15
THE New Port of Walvis Bay Container Terminal Expansion project has been set as a national priority on developmental projects after consultations with the African Development Bank (AfDB). 
This was concluded during a media conference on Friday with 11 executive directors and one senior advisor from the AfDP, which paid a five day visit to Namibia last week to conduct high-level consultations with authorities and relevant stakeholders.
Speaking at the conference, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Ericah Shafuda, said although Namibia has a handful of developmental projects, the new Port of Walvis Bay Container Terminal Expansion project is a government priority, as it will provide Namibia with ample business opportunities to become a transit zone of import and export bulk commodities in SADC. 
Executive director from the AfDB, Mohamed Zaghloul , said on-going government efforts to develop an integrated multi-modal transport network linking the port to land-locked countries in SACU and SADC will play a crucial role in advancing Namibia’s ambition to become a logistics hub for trans-shipment, promote economic integration and strengthen intra-regional trade. 
He also took note of the progress made in the construction of the liquid bulk terminal, partly funded under the Line of Credit to the Development Bank of Namibia. 
Zaghloul commended the authorities’ plans to exploit improved legislation for public private partnership to mobilise private financing for the future expansion of the port and the development of rail, air and road transport network.
The AfDB, however, shared concerns that unemployment remains high and that while good progress has been made in poverty eradication, more efforts are needed to further reduce inequality. 
Since commencing operation in the country in 1991, the bank group has committed about US$705 million in 25 operations supporting largely the financial and transport sector. 
The two operations under preparation include a policy-based intervention supporting reforms that promote macroeconomic stability, social progression and industrialisation and an infrastructure investment program are expected to support job creation for an inclusive growth trajectory.