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Ethiopia, Somaliland Sign Accord to Boost Use of Berbera Port

Ethiopia signed a deal to boost trade through Somaliland’s Berbera port amid congestion at a facility in neighboring Djibouti, officials said.
Berbera_port_quay
Tariffs have been revised and a committee established to manage joint operations as part of the agreement signed on March 31, Sharmarke Jama, an economy and trade adviser for the foreign ministry in the semi-autonomous Somali region, said on Monday.
The committee will work on the “smooth implementation of the bilateral agreement and for improved facilitation of transit trade along the corridor,” he said in an e-mailed response to questions.
Landlocked Ethiopia more than doubled its cereal imports in the last 12 moths as a drought left almost one-fifth of its population of around 100 million people needing food aid. On March 24 there were 10 ships waiting to unload 450,000 tons of wheat at Djibouti.
Ethiopia wanted 30 percent of its trade to go via Berbera by July last year, according to a five-year growth plan published in 2010. As much as 97 percent of shipments are still going through Djibouti because of problems with the capacity and condition of Berbera’s port, the poor state of roads to Ethiopia and the lack of international recognition for Somaliland’s statehood claims, said Ethiopia’s Transport Minister Workneh Gebeyehu.
“Now we have really negotiated the issue and decided to go very fast to use Berbera port,” he said by phone. “The only thing that is left is the operational issues.”
It isn’t clear how many ships carrying Ethiopian cargo Berbera will be able to deal with, although there is a plan for coal imports to go through the port, Workneh said. Port Sudan is already receiving fertilizer for northern areas of Ethiopia, he said.
The Berbera Port Authority held discussions with U.S. Agency for International Development officials about aid imports, Jama said. The facility delivered 40,000 metric tons of wheat in February through Berbera for the UN World Food Programme to distribute to Ethiopians, according to the UN.
Somaliland’s government has shortlisted Bollore SA, P&O, which is owned by DP World, MSC Group’s Terminal Investment Ltd, and Prime Africa for a Berbera renovation project, Jama said.
Source: Bloomberg.com

8 Comments

  1. This is encouraging news and it is about time!!! I have a fond memory of Somaliland going back to the 1950’s. That predates it’s independence and eventual merger with the former Italian Somalia to form the new Republic of Somalia. Me and then friends at that small village we were growing up used to huddle around a shortwave radio broadcast from Hargeisa listening to the songs accompanied by soothing flute riffs. That was everybody’s favorite among us including those of the Christian faith. The next favorite station was Radio et Television(close to that) of (Côte française des Somalis)especially the program in Afar language. There were several Somalis in our village who migrated from the British Somaliland. Now, all you young people, you need to stop calling me an old timer. To reminisce about such indelible moments is part of my fringe benefits. So there is nothing you can do about it. But it was there. That was something which could have been used to build upon but that was not to happen. Then came the new Republic of Somalia led by mentally deranged individuals with shabby but fatal ambition of Greater Somalia. The people of the entire Horn Africa were not placed there in there to be enemies of each other but to live together in peace trading and bartering. That is why it becomes music to my ears when I hear news of strengthening of economic ties. Somalis are very creative and industrious people. So are the people of entire Ethiopia. 99.9% of them are harmonious and peace loving people. And they have seen it all. Wars, famine and bloody chaos associated with these terrible periods in their recent history have taught them to be pragmatic. That is why this news is good news to me. No more wars, no more senseless squabbling and no more ‘I am more intelligent than you’ cockamamie. Trade, trade, trade until you drop!!!!!

  2. This is encouraging news and it is about time!!! I have a fond memory of Somaliland going back to the 1950’s. That predates it’s independence and eventual merger with the former Italian Somalia to form the new Republic of Somalia. Me and then friends at that small village we were growing up used to huddle around a shortwave radio broadcast from Hargeisa listening to the songs accompanied by soothing flute riffs. That was everybody’s favorite among us including those of the Christian faith. The next favorite station was Radio et Television(close to that) of (Côte française des Somalis)especially the program in Afar language. There were several Somalis in our village who migrated from the British Somaliland. Now, all you young people, you need to stop calling me an old timer. To reminisce about such indelible moments is part of my fringe benefits. So there is nothing you can do about it. But it was there. That was something which could have been used to build upon but that was not to happen. Then came the new Republic of Somalia led by mentally deranged individuals with shabby but fatal ambition of Greater Somalia. The people of the entire Horn Africa were not placed there in there to be enemies of each other but to live together in peace trading and bartering. That is why it becomes music to my ears when I hear news of strengthening of economic ties. Somalis are very creative and industrious people. So are the people of entire Ethiopia. 99.9% of them are harmonious and peace loving people. And they have seen it all. Wars, famine and bloody chaos associated with these terrible periods in their recent history have taught them to be pragmatic. That is why this news is good news to me. No more wars, no more senseless squabbling and no more ‘I am more intelligent than you’ cockamamie. Trade, trade, trade until you drop!!!!!

  3. Thanks to Banda TPLF Tigrians who made our country land locked giving away our natural and historical port ASSAB to Shabia and ridiculled us Port is nothing except Sheqet .
    All we got from this bloody Tigrians is betrayal of the nation from the time of Tewedros to Italians and finally to Shabia , Tigrians have been fighting against Ethiopians siding with the enemy now we are desperately searching for a Port afer this fascist gave our port to Shabia

  4. Thanks to Banda TPLF Tigrians who made our country land locked giving away our natural and historical port ASSAB to Shabia and ridiculled us Port is nothing except Sheqet .
    All we got from this bloody Tigrians is betrayal of the nation from the time of Tewedros to Italians and finally to Shabia , Tigrians have been fighting against Ethiopians siding with the enemy now we are desperately searching for a Port afer this fascist gave our port to Shabia

  5. Ethiopia’s natural & historical port is not Assab. If there is a so called natural & historical port, then it would be the port of Djibouti. Assab & Massawa have been used as a major port only after the federation of Eritrea. Before that…? Read history.

  6. Ethiopia’s natural & historical port is not Assab. If there is a so called natural & historical port, then it would be the port of Djibouti. Assab & Massawa have been used as a major port only after the federation of Eritrea. Before that…? Read history.

  7. Abelom Netsere
    The reegime must be removed first: The solutions are: (1) to de-legitimatize the Ethiopian Embacies in USA and London by occupying them by non-violent activists abroad, (2) to de-legitimize Adhanom and his cadres here abroad, (3) Demand the resignation of the regime including regional (kilil) parlaments, (4) Blocking the roads such as: (a) from humera to Gondar and Tigray, (b) From Djibouti to Kombolcha (Wollo), (c) From Barabara to Meiso (West of Dire Dawa), (d) to bock all roads entering to Addis ababa from Oromya, (block all roads linking regional states to oromya … for weeks every 3 or 6 months ….
    The solutions for freedom and democracy including your future fate is in your hands. The regime is lighter than a feather of a bird. Peoples’ Power Much More Powerful than Dictators’ Power.

  8. Abelom Netsere
    The reegime must be removed first: The solutions are: (1) to de-legitimatize the Ethiopian Embacies in USA and London by occupying them by non-violent activists abroad, (2) to de-legitimize Adhanom and his cadres here abroad, (3) Demand the resignation of the regime including regional (kilil) parlaments, (4) Blocking the roads such as: (a) from humera to Gondar and Tigray, (b) From Djibouti to Kombolcha (Wollo), (c) From Barabara to Meiso (West of Dire Dawa), (d) to bock all roads entering to Addis ababa from Oromya, (block all roads linking regional states to oromya … for weeks every 3 or 6 months ….
    The solutions for freedom and democracy including your future fate is in your hands. The regime is lighter than a feather of a bird. Peoples’ Power Much More Powerful than Dictators’ Power.

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