Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 22 July 2022

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FIRST VIEW:  MedPort Tangier

The week’s mastheads:

Monday: Port of Apapa
Tuesday: Port of East London
Wednesday: Port of Durban Sugar Terminal
Thursday: Port of Durban T Jetty
Friday: Port of Durban Container Terminal (DCT)
Saturday: DCT by night
Sunday: Port of Durban Island View





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FIRST VIEW:  MedPort Tangier

MedPort Tangier in Africa Ports & Ships
Tangier Med
MedPort Tangier, in Africa Ports & Ships
MedPort Tangier




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Nigeria & shipping agencies aim at ending piracy in Gulf of Guinea

Nigeria and a group of global shipping stakeholders have launched a new strategy aimed at ending piracy, armed robbery, and kidnapping in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).

The strategy establishes a mechanism to periodically assess the effectiveness of country-piracy initiatives and commitments in the GoG. Targeted at all stakeholders operating in the region, it will identify areas of improvement and reinforcement in order to eliminate piracy.

The plan is split into two mutually supportive sections. One is an action that can be overseen by the Nigerian Industry Working Group (NIWG), while the other requires engagement with other regional and international partners.

The strategic ambition of the coalition is to eliminate piracy in the GoG, to secure trade routes, reassure traversing crews, and support local communities.

In May this year, the UN Security Council condemned the GoG as the world’s piracy hotspot. Despite the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Center tracking an overall drop in global piracy during 2021, threat levels in the region remain high.

Piracy activity in the GoG has posed a severe threat to seafarers and local communities for over a decade. In 2020, 40 per cent of piracy attacks, and 95 per cent of crew kidnappings occurred in the region. However, attacks decreased by nearly 60 per cent in 2021, following the establishment of Deep Blue, the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Maritime Safety Agency (NIMASA) anti-piracy project, and increased international counter-piracy operations in the GoG.

The newly launched strategy was developed by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), BIMCO, Intertanko, Intercargo, Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF), and representatives of the Nigerian Navy and NIMASA, together making up the NIWG.

“Working collaboratively with state and non-state actors, the maritime industry’s various critical players and stakeholders have highlighted key areas where they can make collective improvements,” said Bashir Jamoh, Director General of NIMASA.

“This strategy is an important step in codifying joint efforts to sustain maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. It will be an important tool to monitor our progress.”

Guy Platten in Africa Ports & Ships
Guy Platten

Guy Platten, Secretary General of ICS, described the agreement of this strategy as demonstrating the strong relationship between the shipping industry and Nigeria, and their shared commitment to eradicating piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

“The strategy is already identifying successes and areas in which further improvement will continue to reduce the capability of pirates to attack innocent seafarers in the region,” Platten said.

Katharina Stanzel, Managing Director Intertanko, said the agreement on the Gulf of Guinea Strategy marks a significant point in the fight against piracy and insecurity in the region. “Seafarers have borne this burden for too long and this agreed strategy, with its associated KPIs will assist in making their time on ships in the area safer and more secure,” she said.

According to Kostas Gkonis, Secretary General Intercargo, with this new strategy the shipping industry is beginning a new journey alongside Nigeria by providing an organised approach to tackle security in the waters in the Gulf of Guinea.

“It is only the first step, and the partners must continue to work together to ensure continuous improvement and ensure that the shipping community and the local economy see real change as a result of the strategy,” he warned, while Karen Davis, OCIMF Managing Director, said the need to identify and prioritise those issues which can help prevent harm to seafarers is of paramount importance.

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Mossel Bay port to host TNPA Garden Route Career Exhibition

Port of Mossel Bay, Southern Cape, in Africa Ports & Ships
Port of Mossel Bay and town, Southern Cape    Picture Transnet

Later in July, on the 26th to be precise, the Port of Mossel Bay will host the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) Garden Route Career Exhibition, at the Diaz Museum from 09h00 to 16h00.

This Maritime career awareness initiative took a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The long-awaited career exhibition is the largest annual career exhibition attracting more than a thousand learners and unemployed youth in and around the Garden Route. Entrance is free of charge.

The third anniversary of this significant event will be held at the historic Dias Museum, a strategic partner and location that affords hundreds of visitors an opportunity to learn more about the Mossel Bay’s rich Maritime History.

The unique Maritime Museum has a special and unique relationship with the Port of Mossel Bay and South Africa’s rich maritime history, where the Portuguese seafarer Bartolomeu Dias, who is recorded as the first European to set foot on southern Africa at the site of the port and museum during the latter part of the the 15th century.

This community career awareness and outreach initiative is the brainchild of the TNPA Port of Mossel Bay which collaborates with both public and private institutions to show-case and promote key career and businesses opportunities in and around the Garden route. This is through a combination of edutainment exhibitions, while simultaneously exposing all attendees to the Maritime industry as well as career and bursary opportunities available to young people.

Scene from an earlier exhibition, In Africa Ports & Ships
Scene from an earlier exhibition  Picture Transnet

“TNPA, as the ports landlord of South Africa, and as a change agent, plays a critical role in facilitating the integration of the port with its communities and the city, whilst equally promoting awareness of port activities, careers and business opportunities offered by the maritime industry,” said Mossel Bay port manager, Dr Dineo Mazibuko.

“The Garden Route Career Exhibition, which has been fully endorsed and supported by the Western Cape Department of Education plays a critical role in inspiring learners to learn more about careers and bursary opportunities that exist not only within TNPA but within other role players in the world of work and the Oceans Economy,” Mazibuko said.

This initiative aims to deliver on the National Ports Act 12 of 2005 mandate to collaborate with educational institutions, to promote technical education on port services and facilities which is further supported by Government’s National Growth Path and the Operation Phakisa Presidential initiative, which includes among its objectives driving economic development, job creation and skills development.

To make sure that the programme is open, beneficial, meaningful, and practical to the learners, 500 learners will be transported from various schools in and around Mossel Bay, while other members of the community will be welcomed as walk-in participants.

Amongst others, Academic Institutions such as the South African Maritime School and Transport College, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), South Cape TVET college, SAIMI, the South African Navy, as well as development agencies such as National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) have fully embraced, will exhibit, and make a meaningful contribution towards success of the exhibition.

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CMA CGM’s Ceva Logistics expands in Africa

Spedag Interfreight has been acquired by CEVA Logistics, in Africa Ports & Ships
Spedag Interfreight has been acquired by CEVA Logistics  Picture: Ceva Logistics

After the major acquisition of Dubai-based AMI Worldwide in 2020, which was involved in 12 African countries, Ceva logistics has continued its development in Africa by concluding the purchase of Spedag Interfreight.

This acquisition brings the East African activities of the Swiss family logistics operator M+R Spedag.

The move by Ceva Logistics, a division of CMA CGM, comes ahead of the takeover of another giant French company active in Africa, Bolloré Africa Logistics, which will move into the ownership of Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) from end March 2023.

Spedag South Africa was the first subsidiary on the African continent, with the company later expanding into East Africa. A week ago it was announced that the East African activities of M+R Spedag have been sold to Ceva Logistics.

The acquired company, a specialist in contract logistics for the mining industry, oil & gas, food aid and raw materials, employs 400 people in 24 branches in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan.

Ceva logistics, which wants to build a pan-African network alternative to that of the leader Bolloré, which will become a subsidiary of MSC by next March, is now present in 44 countries on the continent, directly or through agents.

As was the case with AMI Worldwide, the name of Spedag Interfreight in East Africa will most likely merge in time into Ceva Logistics.

CEO and owner of M+R Spedag since 2006, Daniel Richner, said the sale to Ceva Logistics formed part of his succession planning.

“The focus was to find a buyer who already has experience in Africa, pursues a growth strategy, secures jobs, and can offer the necessary financial stability. Ceva Logistics exceeded all these requirements,” he said.

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Militarisation of Red Sea – Russian seabase at Port Sudan scuttled

Port Sudan, where Russia has been seeking a naval presence, in Africa Ports & Ships
Port Sudan, where Russia has been seeking a naval presence   Picture Port of Sudan

Amid increasing militarisation of the Red Sea, where the multi-nation Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) in April this year introduced its fourth Combined Task Force (CTF) 153, with a mission to focus on international maritime security and capacity building efforts in the Red Sea, Bab al-Mandeb Strait and Gulf of Aden, comes the news from US intelligence sources that Sudan has turned down a request from Russia to establish a naval base at Port Sudan.

In 2020 it was learned that Russia was making overtures to Khartoum for a strategic base or at least presence at Port Sudan, which is halfway up the Red Sea, one of the world’s most important seaways and a potential chokepoint.

Thirty per cent of the world’s container traffic passes along the Red Sea each year. The grounding of one of the world’s largest container ships, Ever Given, in the Suez Canal for six days in 2021 demonstrated the importance of this region to the economies of not only Europe but the wider world.


A successful attempt by Russia to create a naval presence at Port Sudan would be its first on the continent, matching a continental presence in Mali by the Russian Wagner mercenary group after the withdrawal of French armed forces from that West African country.

US intelligence reports suggest that had the Russians been successful in creating a naval presence at Port Sudan, they would have been able to project influence and power further afield into the Indian Ocean.

The political situation in Sudan remains uncertain, with a military council effectively in command of the trouble-torn country, though strong civilian opposition still exists, particularly in the east of the country where on the Red Sea coast is the country’s main port of Port Sudan.

It is believed the ruling military council is split on whether to provide support and aid from Moscow, or to avoid alienating the west and other allies in the region including Egypt. The de facto head of state and coup leader, Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, falls into the latter camp.

“They’re very hesitant to give them access to this port. They continue to try and delay and do delay tactics,” said a U.S. intelligence official quoted in Foreign Policy.

“We see it as unlikely that the Port Sudan deal is going to be done anytime in the near future and that Russia is potentially looking to seek other options if Port Sudan doesn’t work out.”

Yet another view is that Sudanese military is set on playing all sides.

Meanwhile, the Red Sea remains set to a much stronger military presence than before, if only because of CTF153.

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Oman acts against illegal fishing – strikes ISRAR fleet off register

ISRAR fleet in port, rendered stateless in Africa Ports & Ships
ISRAR fleet in port, rendered stateless  Picture EJF

Oman has struck off a fleet of vessels that have been fishing illegally across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans from their shipping registry. This decision follows years of investigations conducted by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) and will severely restrict the ability of the fleet to carry out further illegal fishing.

The pressure EJF has been putting on the ISRAR fleet, a fleet found to be fishing illegally, has won a key victory.

See related stories in Africa Ports & Ships by ISRAR fishing fleet blacklisted in Indian Ocean to safeguard tuna

and also Dodgy ISRAR fishing fleet moves into Indian Ocean after insurer ends coverage

On 13 July, Oman informed the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) that they would delete the vessels from their registry, as “the documentation submitted by owners about the previous history of the vessels was not satisfactory, together with all other evidence collected by all the fisheries departments involved”.

Oman has withdrawn all fishing licence and permits to the ISRAR vessels and revoked their Oman registration. EJF stated that it was pleased to see Oman recognise the severity and scale of the fleet’s illegality, and act in such a decisive way.

The ISRAR fleet will now have to look elsewhere for their flag and permits. This case sets a strong precedent for national governments to take action to end illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, said the NGO.

ISRAR fleet blacklisted

The ISRAR fleet, which has been operating in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean for years, has been blacklisted by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) since 2021 and by the IOTC since May 2022, as well as dropped by its insurers in March 2022.

The fleet has used every trick in the book to avoid scrutiny for their actions, including relocating their fishing activities, changing their vessel names and flags frequently to avoid detection and engaging in trans-shipment, which is when vessels meet at sea to transfer catch, supplies or crew, allowing them to stay at sea for prolonged periods of time.

An acute lack of transparency in the global fishing sector often allows such operators to get away with illegal fishing and the destruction of ocean ecosystems, claimed EJF. In addition, human rights abuses are frequently committed against crew on illegal vessels.

Abuses include forcing crew to work inhumanely long hours, verbal and physical abuse and withholding wages. EJF argues that there are simple, low cost steps governments can take to ensure transparency in global fisheries and force such illegal vessels out of the shadows.

The industry urgently needs change, said the NGO, stating that they hope that action from Oman is a catalyst for a shift in how countries deal with illegal fishing.

“We applaud Oman for their decision following our years of painstaking investigations into the ISRAR fleet,” said Max Schmid, COO of the Environmental Justice Foundation.

“We hope that Oman will be part of a larger movement to put an end to illegal fishing, and that more governments take the same step to ban such vessels. However, we need global, systematic transparency to be implemented across the whole sector if we hope to succeed in securing an end to the destruction of ocean ecosystems and human rights abuses at sea,” Schmid said.

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Lobito Corridor (Benguela) railway concession awarded to consortium

The Lobito Corridor rail includes passenger services along a section of the corridor, in Africa Ports & Ships
The Lobito Corridor railway includes passenger services along a section of the corridor  Picture CFB

Angola’s Ministry of Transport has awarded the concession to manage and operate the Lobito Corridor railway to a consortium of three companies. The corridor, also known as the Benguela Railway, is a key route connecting mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the Lobito port in Angola.

The 30-year concession, with the potential of a 20-year extension subject to the concessionaire building the Luacano (Moxico) – Jimbe (Zambia) rail branch, has been awarded to Trafigura Pte Ltd, a market leader in the global commodities industry, Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construção África SA, an international construction and infrastructure management company, and Vecturis SA, an independent rail operator whose founders are also founding members of COMAZAR, another associated consortium that includes Transnet of South Africa and Transurb Consult, a subsidiary of the Belgian National Railways.

Lobito Corridor Railway, in Africa Ports & Ships

A statement issued by the Lobito Corridor consortium said it was grateful for the efficient and transparent public tender process, adding that with increased dynamics in the transportation of minerals and other materials in the coming years and improved competitiveness of the rail system, it is expected that the Lobito Corridor could become the 3rd most important corridor in the SADC region by 2050.

The consortium will be responsible for the operation, management and maintenance of the rail infrastructure for the cargo transport of minerals, liquids and gas for the Corridor that links the port of Lobito with Luau in eastern Angola close to the border with the DRC.

As part of the concession agreement the consortium has committed to invest significant capital in improving the rail infrastructure to improve the capacity and safety of the Lobito Corridor, as well as to invest in significant rolling stock for freight operations.

Map of Angolan railway systems, including the Lobito Corridor (Benguela) railway, in Africa Ports & Ships
Map of Angolan railway systems, including the Lobito Corridor (Benguela) railway

Currently copper, cobalt and other metals are exported from the DRC east via the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, via Beira in Mozambique, or south via Durban in South Africa, a journey that takes several weeks or more. As export volumes have increased from the DRC due to the demand for minerals needed for the energy transition, the roads have become more congested and delays at the border more protracted.

This new export corridor utilises existing national rail infrastructure, removes trucks from the roads and offers considerable cost and time savings for miners in the Copperbelt to export to international markets.

The consortium is owned 49.5 per cent each by Trafigura and Mota-Engil, with the remaining one per cent owned by Vecturis. The concession agreement is expected to be signed in the weeks ahead.

Forecasts point to 1.678 million tonnes in the 5th year of the concession, 2.982 million tonnes in the tenth year, 4.979 million tonnes in the twentieth year, and 4.979 million tonnes in the thirtieth and last year.

The consortium is expected, in terms of the concession, to invest $256 million in infrastructure, $73.4m in equipment and rolling stock, and an additional amount of $4.345m in various activities.

In addition to commodities from the DRC and Zambia, the rail corridor will provide other benefits for Angola, in terms of agricultural and mining opportunities and will have a direct impact on the development of industries and small businesses adjacent to the railway as well as contributing to the reduction of freight transport tariffs.

One of the concessionaires, Mota-Engil has been active in Angola for over 70 years. Vecturis, another of the concessionaires, is active together with its COMAZAR partners, in a number of countries in Africa and elsewhere, while Trafigura is a specialist in the distribution of metals and minerals worldwide.

Benguela Railway scene 1931. Picture: Theo Strauss, in Africa Ports & Ships
Benguela Railway scene 1931. Picture: Theo Strauss

Construction of the Benguela Railway commenced in 1902 and was completed to Tenke (Tenque) in the then Belgian Congo Copperbelt in 1929. The 3ft 6ins Cape gauge line is compatible with the other railways of the DRC, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania (TAZARA), Mozambique, Malawi, Botswana, Eswatini, Namibia and South Africa.

The line from the port at Lobito to Luau measures 1,344 kilometres with a further 500km within the DRC to connect with the north-south railway that extends as far south as South Africa.

Within Angola the line has 67 stations and enjoys generally modern infrastructure along the way.

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WHARF TALK: LR2 sized tanker – LEO

The LR2 sized tanker Leo in Cape Town harbour. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
The LR2 sized tanker Leo in Cape Town harbour. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Jay Gates, in Africa Ports & Ships

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

The largest tanker that is capable of berthing at the Tanker Basin in Cape Town harbour is an LR2 sized tanker, i.e. a tanker between 80,000 and 160,000 deadweight tons, and generally with a length of 250 metres. The length is crucial as Berth 1, which is the long tanker berth in the tanker basin, is only 250 metres in length, and has a working depth of just 13 metres. However, whilst it is very rare that LR2 tankers call, they do occasionally call in with a part cargo for discharge.

On 18th July at 09h00 the Aframax LR2 tanker LEO (IMO 9419151) arrived off Cape Town, from Lagos in Nigeria, and immediately entered Cape Town harbour. However, immediately it was obvious that this was not a normal tanker call, as she was clearly in ballast, and not calling in with a cargo. To confirm that point, she entered the Duncan Dock, but did not proceed to Berth 1 in the Tanker Basin, but rather headed straight to the Landing Wall.

Such an arrival is very suggestive that ‘Leo’ had a need for shoreside engineering assistance. Large tankers, who are in need of such support, are almost always berthed here, as the Landing Wall can take vessels up to 275 metres in length, and the berth has an alongside working depth of 14 metres.

Leo in Cape Town harbour. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Leo in Cape Town harbour. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 2010 by New Times shipbuilding at Jingjiang in China, ‘Leo’ has a length of 250 metres, and has a deadweight of 112,795 tons. She is powered by a single HHI MAN-B&W 7S60MC-C 7 cylinder 2 stroke main engine, producing 18,282 bhp (13,447 kW) to drive a fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 14 knots. She has 14 cargo tanks, and a cargo carrying capacity of 124,620 m3.

Nominally owned by Pacific Energy Incorporated, ‘Leo’ is operated by Kondinave SA of Athens, and is managed by Goodwood Ship Management Pte. Ltd. of Singapore. Purchased by her current owners in 2018, she was acquired for a sum of US$19.5 million (ZAR333.2 million). Her funnel displays no houseflag, to indicate her owners, not her charterers.

Her current voyage began with her loading in Antwerp, sailing from there on 25th May 2022. She arrived at the Lagos anchorage, in Nigeria, on 11th June 2022, and appears to have remained in the anchorage at Lagos for the best part of a month. She is showing as having left the anchorage for a 36 hour period between 30th June at 07h00, until 1st July at 19h00. It is presumed that this is when she discharged her cargo.

Leo in Cape Town harbour. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Leo in Cape Town harbour. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

She is equipped with three pumps, each capable of pumping 3,000 m3 per hour, which would be the equivalent discharge of 108,000 m3 in the time that she left the anchorage. After her short time away from the anchorage, she returned back into the Lagos anchorage and remained there until 7th July, when she sailed in ballast for Cape Town.

The exact problem she is suffering from, and that required her to sail to Cape Town, with a view to having it resolved, is as yet unknown. Similarly, the timeframe for resolving the particular issue, is also as yet unknown. Having such a large vessel at the Landing Wall, and one who is sitting high out of the water, makes her a veritable landmark for those Cape Town residents who drive past the harbour each day en-route to, or from, work.

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Former CMA CGM executive Sartini rumoured to head up Bolloré’s African logistics unit for MSC

It’s rumoured that Nicolas Sartini, a former CMA CGM top executive, will head up the Bolloré’s African Logistics unit recently acquired by Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Company.

The acquisition by MSC becomes complete at the end of March 2023.

Nicolas Sartini, now joining MSC where it is thought he will take charge of Bolloré's Africa logistics, in Africa Ports & Ships
Nicolas Sartini, now joining MSC where it is thought he will take charge of Bolloré’s Africa logistics

Though his appointment to Bolloré Africa Logistics is not yet confirmed, a French website Le Marin is confidently saying that Sartini has resigned his position with Istanbul-based Yilport Holdings where he was a co-chief executive officer, to join MSC.

Yildrim and CMA CGM enjoy close ties, with Yildrim having bailed out CMA CGM during the global financial crisis, and taking a 24% stake in the shipping line for $500 million.

Prior to his time with Yildrim, Sartini worked with French shipping and logistics giant, CMA CGM, including being in charge of its Asian operation from Singapore and its then recently acquired APL shipping group.

He also worked within the CEVA group after its acquisition by CMA CGM, where he was CEO/COO before becoming the chief executive of CMA CGM’s terminal division.

Le Marin reports him as having resigned his post at Yilport to join MSC and take charge of the Bolloré’s Africa logistics group that is now owned by MSC.

Bolloré’s Africa logistics is the largest organisation on the continent involved in ports, terminals and logistics and employs approximately 21,000 employees in 49 countries. It is active in 42 ports, including 16 container terminals, seven roll-on, roll-off ferry ports and two wood terminals. In addition, it has a network of 85 maritime shipping agencies and operates three rail concessions, according to its website.

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DP World’s Imperial completes the acquisition of Mozambique’s J&J Group

J&J Group, becomes a division of DP World's Imperial, in Africa Ports & Ships
J&J Group, becomes a division of DP World’s Imperial

Imperial, owned by DP World, announced on Tuesday (19 July) that all the requirements relating to its 100% acquisition of the J&J Group, the largest integrated logistics operator in Mozambique’s Beira corridor, have now been fulfilled. The transaction relating to the acquisition of the first tranche of shares (51%) of the J&J Group, which was announced on 29 July 2021, was closed on 18 July 2022. This will be followed by the acquisitions of the second and third tranches of 46.5% and 2.5%, respectively.

J&J Group offers end-to-end logistics solutions along the Beira and North-South corridors in South-East Africa, specialising in the transport of break-bulk, containerised, project, fuel and out-of-gauge cargo between Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

J&J Logistics, Beira, in Africa Ports & Ships
J&J Logistics, Beira

“This acquisition strengthens DP World’s position in Africa as an end-to-end logistics provider, by adding J&J’s significant presence along these key corridors in Africa – a market where trade is expected to grow at more than twice GDP driven by population growth, accelerated urbanisation and rising middle classes,” said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World.

Mohammed Akoojee, Chief Operating Officer of DP World Logistics, Group CEO at Imperial, said the acquisition complements Imperial and DP World’s ‘Gateway to Africa’ focus.

“It optimises and expands our reach in Africa by providing scale in end-to-end cross-border transportation services in key countries and new industries. This is possible through well-established routes, port capabilities, a well-developed asset base, including a fleet and warehousing space, as well as an entrenched customer portfolio,” Akoojee said.

Through the acquisition of the J&J Group, South Africa’s Imperial, which was acquired by DP World in February this year, will be positioned for quicker go-to-market outside of South Africa and end-to-end access to certain key countries and corridors (port to customer) in Africa.

“We are excited for J&J to partner with Imperial and believe that the operations of these two businesses are very complementary. This combination offers existing and potential J&J clients a true gateway to Africa,” said Carlyle and Ethos Private Equity, currently the controlling shareholder of the J&J Group.

See our original annoucement in Africa Ports & Ships by CLICKING HERE

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IN CONVERSATION: Ice Wide Shut — Inside the complex, secretive world of the Antarctic Treaty

Unless you’re a scientist or government official, you’ve likely never been to Antarctica. But, as humans continue pumping planet-warming gases into the atmosphere at an industrial scale, the ice-covered continent is increasingly likely to visit your shores through rising seas.

In a Wednesday webinar, investigative journalist Tiara Walters was joined by leading rights-of-nature lawyer Cormac Cullinan and French polar lecturer Mikaa Mered, who warned the Antarctic Treaty System — the framework that rules Earth’s melting, southernmost continent — makes critical decisions about a tenth of the world behind a Cold War-era “Ice Curtain”. This is a phrase coined by the Tasmania-based polar author and journalist, Andrew Darby.

“The select states ruling Antarctica — such as the US, the EU, China and Russia — ban media, and most of the global activist community from attending their meetings,” Walters reported, flagging these exclusive diplomatic gatherings as “the very events that decide how to govern a place that holds all our lives in its icy embrace”.

“In 2022 alone, [Antarctic] temperatures have soared 40 degrees Celsius above normal,” said Walters, who reports for Daily Maverick’s Our Burning Planet unit. “The ice sheet holds 60m of sea-level rise: losing 1% of this will swamp shorelines across Earth.”

The Antarctic club — which is not a UN body — is composed of only 54 of 190-odd UN states. Of those, just 29 have a say in how the icy region is run. “Other than South Africa, as a voting state, and Namibia as a non-voting state,” noted Walters, “the people of Africa have zero say in what happens to Antarctica.

“This is no doubt a precious agreement to many, but with such awkward politics lording over this global commons, many are now asking … is the Antarctic Treaty still fit to rule 60 years after coming into force, or is it time to treat the melting continent like a real person with rights?”

‘Crafting narratives’

The panellists praised the treaty system for its diplomatic achievements and creating “predictability”. Yet Mered, secretary-general of the Chair on Overseas Territories at the Paris-based Sciences Po research institute, said Antarctic governance was shrouded in mystery.

“Antarctica has always been remote, very far away from decision-making circles and from the scrutiny of public opinions,” said Mered, author of the monograph Les Mondes Polaires (The Polar Worlds). “Basically, what countries have done ever since the 19th century, is whatever they want in Antarctica, and then frame a narrative, frame a story, to sell this Antarctic prestige …

“Now, it’s a little different because these treaty meetings do happen every year in May or June in big capital cities all across the world — and media, journalists, people want to come in and report on that,” he explained.

Yet, stage-managed press statements are released at the start and end of meetings, and the formal negotiations operate under a blackout. Journalists, environmental groups and other interested parties did not want carefully prepackaged information, he pointed out, “but that’s not really how Antarctic diplomacy is done; it’s always been a club approach”.

“Whether we’re talking about the Western original states at the birth of this treaty club approach, or whether we talk about the newcomers, such as China, India or other major players in international relations,” he noted, they want to “craft” a preferred narrative “to serve their own interest”.

Great power competition: a ‘solution’

It is in the face of this opacity and through a grip on the continent’s management consolidated by treaty states, that this “Pandora’s Box” may now have to answer to a changing climate and world order, plus civil-society initiatives — such as the Declaration on the Rights of Antarctica.

This initiative is driven by Cullinan and an international civil society movement.

Cullinan, a treaty outsider and trail-blazing Cape Town lawyer, is also leading a case against Shell’s controversial seismic surveys off South Africa’s coast and represents the Khoi and San peoples in a high-profile case against the River Club development, also in the city. The latter includes Amazon’s regional headquarters.

“This is an enormously important area,” said Cullinan, referring to the threatened Antarctic continent and Southern Ocean region, which is five times bigger than Australia. “We’re talking about approximately 20% of the southern hemisphere’s surface area, or 10% of the global surface area …

“Climate change is affecting it very much … if that ice on the land slips off or melts into the sea, there are potentially catastrophic increases in sea-level rise by many metres, not centimetres.”

The current regime was “born of a different world” that “can’t accommodate challenges like climate change, which arise outside of the treaty area”, argued Cullinan, also author of Wild Law: A Manifesto for Earth Justice.

Antarctica’s rights declaration was not “something that would dismantle the Antarctic Treaty System”, he stressed. It was about “being able to move forward and create a parallel vision of an entirely different governance system, a prototype, if you like, of how things could be done better”.

Seven major member states, including the UK, Argentina and Australia, have long-standing Antarctic territorial claims, which are “frozen” only as long as the treaty holds. To resolve “inevitable” power competition around issues such as mining, Cullinan said the rights declaration would urge states to reject such claims permanently.

“This is to say, ‘None of you have sovereignty. Antarctica is sovereign unto itself,’ ” he said. “That whole Antarctic ecosystem is self-regulating. It works just fine without humans.”

Meet my client, Antarctica

“I would like to see a situation one day when you can stand up in the courts in France, South Africa or anywhere else, and say, ‘I’m representing Antarctica and your climate change activities are having a severe impact on my client and ought to be restricted in some way,” Cullinan added.

The rights declaration would enable Antarctica “to sit as a member of the UN, speaking for itself”. This would involve “complete transparency”, he argued.

For her part, Walters, in her recent year-long investigation, revealed Russia had never stopped combing Antarctica for apparently vast oil, gas and other mineral reserves, despite the region’s 1998 mining ban. Walters showed the Kremlin’s mineral explorer and associates, acting under the shroud of this club as a possible “gentleman’s agreement”, had been using Cape Town as a springboard on a yearly basis.

It is unclear how much of these resources are recoverable — but the journalist’s series lifted the lid on multiple state sources pointing to 500 billion barrels of oil and gas: 15 times annual global consumption.

The explorer, Rosgeo, told Daily Maverick their mineral surveys were purely scientific, and thus allowed by the ban’s research clause. A senior state geoscientist also told Walters the sanctions-hit Russian oil and gas industry was not necessarily an obstacle to mining Antarctica in the “longer-term future”.

To defend Antarctica against extraction, the rights declaration would, among others, aim to challenge potential mining, expanding krill fisheries, whaling and large-scale construction.

‘What is being kept secret?’

Walters cautioned there were exceptions under treaty secrecies: in 2020, Finland had invited media to attend the annual meeting before it was cancelled under pandemic restrictions. Taking place in Helsinki, the Finnish meeting has been rescheduled for 2023.

Mered noted the recent annual meeting hosted by Germany in May and June had been guarded, due to the diplomatic trials of hosting such an event during Russia’s war against Ukraine — especially as both states were decision-making treaty members.

Citing a series of Daily Maverick interviews with Ukraine Antarctic officials, and a “limited sideline interview” with a German official, Walters suggested diplomats could “create more open conversations about treaty politics”. She called for “side events” such as press conferences at upcoming meetings — similar to those held at UN climate summits.

The treaty secretariat previously told Daily Maverick it did “not provide comments on situations or actions as it is not in our mandate”. The secretariat also did not respond to email requests for an interview or comment on issues aired during the webinar.

Speaking about the opacity around Antarctica’s management, and how the status quo presented an obstacle to broader engagement, Cullinan suggested “the world of secrecy has been disappearing in the national and international environmental law field … if something’s going to be secret, one really needs to ask what is being kept secret?

“So over time, most people have accepted that the environment is everybody’s business. It’s a common property. It’s the habitat of humanity.” OBP/DM

View the Declaration on the Rights of Antarctica, a South African and international civil-society initiative, here.


This article first appeared on Daily Maverick and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Watch the YouTube video of the webinar [58:35]

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Added 21 July 2022


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Impressive largest magnetite cargo handled by Richards Bay Bulk Terminal

Loading magnetite into the holds of Seacon Africa at the port of Richards Bay Bulk Terminal in Africa Ports & Ships
Loading magnetite into the holds of Seacon Africa at the port of Richards Bay Bulk Terminal.  Picture Transnet

The Richards Bay Bulk Terminal loaded 192,400 tons of magnetite in a single vessel last week Friday as the 300-metre-long MV SEACON AFRICA (IMO 9355147) sailed for China a day ahead of scheduled time. This was the largest magnetite consignment in the history of the terminal’s operations.

TPT’s operational team had averaged a loading rate of 1,699 tons per hour throughout the vessels’ five days, 54% above the normal loading rate.

“We loaded MV Seacon Africa consistently and with little delays, thanks to the leadership of the Terminal Manager and his team as well as the cooperation between ourselves and the Palabora Mining Company team we have executed with,” said newly appointed Managing Executive at the Richards Bay Terminals, Kwazi Mabaso.

Seacon Africa at Richards Bay, in Africa Ports & Ships


Equally impressive

Equally impressive, a total of 39 magnetite trains pulling 80 wagons each were offloaded at a cycle of 18 wagons per hour through the terminal’s Tippler 2 that underwent refurbishments two years ago.

Annually, the Richards Bay Bulk Terminal handles about five million tons of magnetite, one of seven key commodities at Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) in line with the new strategy.

Of the network of 16 sea-cargo and three inland terminals managed by TPT, the Richards Bay Bulk Terminal is the only magnetite operation within the stable. Magnetite exports have been on a gradual increase as the iron oxide serves as a crucial ingredient in the manufacturing of steel.

Following the incidents of two fires last year October where nine of 86 conveyor routes were affected, the terminal introduced alternative cargo handling methods for impacted commodities and currently run a hybrid operation of both skips and conveyors to ensure continuity.

“We are turning the corner,” said Mabaso. “More and more, we are achieving targets on vessels and across some commodities – we have exceeded year to date planned volumes,” adding that the commitment of the operational and technical teams was worthy of noting.

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WHARF TALK: purpose built research vessel – BAIA FARTA

The Angolan Fisheries and Oceanographic Research Vessel Baia Farta in Cape Town harbour. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
The Angolan Fisheries and Oceanographic Research Vessel Baia Farta in Cape Town harbour. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Jay Gates, in Africa Ports & Ships

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

Fisheries and Oceanographic research is crucial to any maritime nation, to enable it to manage its natural resources, and understand the processes that give their seas the properties that enables an understanding of their own waters, and the biomass it contains.

Baia Farta. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Baia Farta. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

South Africa has always understood that relationship, and for the last hundred years has operated a continuous programme of research using purpose built research vessels. The result is a well-managed national fishing industry, in all areas, and sensible quotas being issued that support the continuing health of the fishery for which the quota relates. The same cannot be said for the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.

The majority of these nations have either paid scant regard to what is going on in their own waters, which threaten potential fisheries collapse, and prevent much needed revenue being earned, or they have relied on the largesse of foreign nations, who provide the fisheries and oceanographic research vessels, to conduct the research on their behalf.

The Soviet Union operated a number of fisheries research vessels in Namibian waters during the 1970s and 1980s when the Russians were literally hoovering up the contents of the offshore fishery. Even today, the Norwegian government provides the fisheries research vessel ‘Dr. Fridtjof Nansen’ to conduct offshore fisheries research in Namibia, and which is a regular visitor to Cape Town.

In the last decade, some enlightened African nations have come to understand the need to have a year round fisheries biomass and oceanographic research programme, in order to manage their resources to ensure that overfishing is prevented, and to ensure that the collapse of any of their fisheries does not occur, using real-time scientific data provided by these vessels.

It has resulted in the delivery of a number of small offshore research vessels, and the prospective order of new vessels, still to be delivered. Nigeria, Namibia and Angola are just a few of the African nations who have already invested in much needed offshore, Fisheries and Oceanographic research vessels.

On 15th July at 15h00 the Fisheries and Oceanographic Research Vessel BAIA FARTA (IMO 9813474) arrived off Cape Town, from Luanda in Angola, and entered Cape Town harbour, proceeding to the Landing Wall in the Duncan Dock. This suggested that she was in Cape Town to receive much needed shoreside engineering assistance.

Baia Farta. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Baia Farta. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 2018 by the Damen Shipyard at Galati in Rumania, ‘Baia Farta’ is 74 metres in length and has a deadweight of 979 tons. She is a diesel-electric powered vessel, and has two INDAR electric motors producing 1,650 kW each. The motors are powered by two Wärtsilä 9L20 generators, each providing 1,710 kW each. The motors drive a fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 13 knots.

Her auxiliary machinery includes a single Wärtsilä 6L20 generator providing 1,140 kW, and a single Caterpillar C6.6 ACERT emergency generator providing 125 kW. Her machinery is designed and mounted to ensure that ‘Baia Farta’ complies with the 2019 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Underwater Radiated Noise Standards and, as a result, she has a Silent A/F/R classification.

For added manoeuvrability to conduct important ‘on station’ scientific operations, ‘Baia Farta’ has an electric, retractable, Schottel SRP550 azimuth bow thruster providing 700 kW, an electric, Schottel STT03 transverse bow thruster providing 600 kW, and an electric, Schottel STT02 transverse stern thruster providing 400 kW. This gives her a dynamic positioning DP1 classification, which is all controlled by a Kongsberg K-Pos DPS bridge system.

Designed by Skipteknisk AS, of Ålesund in Norway, as an ST-368 type, ‘Baia Farta’ received further adaptations from Damen, of Gorinchem in Holland, who refer to her as a FRV 7417 type. She is owned, operated and managed by the Angolan Government Ministry of Fisheries, in Luanda in Angola, and manned by a mix of Portuguese and Angolan nationals.

She is named after a town and municipality in Benguela Province, with the town of Baia Farta located at 12°36’ South 013°12’ East. She is the first, purpose built, offshore fisheries research vessel to be owned by the Angolan government, but is the third vessel provided to the Angolan Government by the Damen Group. Previously, Damen have delivered an offshore fisheries patrol vessel, and a small inshore, fisheries research vessel to the Angolans.

Baia Farta. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Baia Farta. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

She is designed to conduct pelagic (midwater) and demersal (bottom) fisheries research, as well as oceanographic research into acoustics, plankton, water column, environmental, hydrographic, integrated data logging and sampling. She is also able to undertake pollution and oil recovery work, as well as provide emergency towing services. For towing she has a bollard pull of 30 tons.

Built to accommodate 29 crewmembers, and a scientific complement of 22 persons, ‘Baia Farta’ has an endurance of 29 days, which is the equivalent of 9,000 nautical miles at her service speed of 13 knots. She was built at a cost of US$70 million (ZAR1.2 billion). For her voyage to Cape Town, she was operating with a minimum crew of 12 persons.

She is extremely well equipped for her multi-disciplinary role. She has a 25 ton ‘A’ Frame over her stern ramp, with an additional 10 ton ‘A’ Frame, both to support her fisheries trawling nets, and scientific sampling nets. She has an 8 ton knuckle crane to handle scientific equipment on her working deck, and she has a hangar with a 6 ton beam crane for her water sampling, 24 bottle, CTD rosette.

Her trawling winches include two 30 ton trawling winches, with 5,000 metres of wire, one 6 ton net sounding winch, with 4,700 metres of wire. Other multiple winches include two net drum winches, one of 35 tons and one of 25 tons, and two 12 ton Gilson winches, with 290 metres of wire. She also has a hydrographic winch with 2,000 metres of wire, two general purpose winches, one of 10 tons, with 6,000 metres of wire, and the other of 5 tons with 2,500 metres of wire. Her CTD winch has 6,000 metres of wire provided.

Baia Farta. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Baia Farta. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

For hydrographic and surveying work, ‘Baia Farta’ has two 3 metre drop keels, to ensure that her transducers can all be lowered out of the way of any hull induced noise, which could affect the acoustic results.

Her onboard acoustic suite includes a split beam sounder, a multi-beam sounder, a multi-beam sonar, an omni-directional sounder, a navigation bottom sounder, trawl monitoring sounders, a multi-beam deepwater sounder, doppler current profiler, sub-bottom profiler, geo-acoustic system, thermosalinograph, acoustic positioning system and a motion reference unit.

For her onboard research requirements, ‘Baia Farta’ has 5 laboratories, including am environmental lab, an analysis lab, a chemical lab, a dry lab, a wet lab, and a fish processing area. She also has the ability to use a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV), which is capable of operating down to depths of 1,500 metres.

Despite her delivery to the Angolan Government taking place in October 2018, her full programme of sea and operational trials were interrupted by the outbreak of the Covid pandemic in March 2020. The trials programme was scheduled to be complete by July 2020.

Baia Farta. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Baia Farta. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Her complexity, due to her onboard IT capabilities, meant that there were ongoing software issues. The shipyard granted a one year extension to July 2021 to her guarantees, in order for them to be resolved, and it was in April 2021 that they were finally completed.

One problem that arose as a result of these delays, was that her classification society requirements had not been met, and her classification was temporarily suspended until all work was satisfactorily completed.

This is the first visit to South Africa by ‘Baia Farta’, and is solely for her to receive her first extended period of maintenance and hull surveys. Damen in Cape Town will be undertaking, and overseeing, the majority of the programmed maintenance schedule. She is expected to be alongside in Cape Town for a few weeks, in order to complete the necessary work.

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IHMA announces a new President: Captain Paul O’Regan

IHMA logo in Africa Ports & Ships
IHMA logo

The International Harbour Masters’ Association (IHMA) is pleased to announce the selection of Captain Paul O’Regan as its new President. Paul has served as an Officer of the Association since 2012 and as Vice President since 2015.

Paul O’Regan is currently Harbour Master & Chief Operations Officer for the Port of Cork and Bantry Port Company prior to which he spent 15 years at sea with various companies. He joined the Port of Cork Company in 2004 as a pilot and in 2007 became part of the Harbour Master’s team as Deputy Harbour Master. In 2013 he was appointed Harbour Master and Chief Operations Officer.

IHMA is proud that a long-standing member with such a depth of experience as a harbour master will lead the Association in its next chapter.

Captain Paul O'Regan in Africa Ports & Ships
Captain Paul O’Regan, president of the IHMA

Paul O’Regan said of his appointment: “I am grateful to the members of the Executive Committee and Council as well as the membership for allowing me to continue to be a part of the Association in this new role.

“I am an ardent believer in the value of IHMA’s work in promoting safety, security and environmental soundness within ports, and look forward to serving the membership and growing the impact and influence of the Association in the greater maritime sector.

“I would like to sincerely thank Captain Yoss Leclerc for his leadership and commitment during his tenure as President. He leaves a solid legacy, has grown the reach of the organization and started initiatives that we will continue to take forward.”

IHMA Biennial Congress

IHMA’s 13th International Biennial Congress was held from 27 to 30 June at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Speaking of the Congress Paul O’Regan commented: “Our attendance numbers at this congress were lower than usual for many obvious reasons, however those of us that were lucky enough to attend can attest to another successful event, the level of networking between delegates, exhibitors, sponsors, and speakers was superb.

“It was heartening to see many newly appointed Harbour Masters in attendance and others with us for their first congress. The feedback from the new Harbour Masters from Sydney, Melbourne, Halifax, Hamburg, Tangier and Saldanha to name but a few, was extremely positive towards the organisation. The content from the speakers was diverse, knowledgeable, and thought provoking.”

O’Regan’s official first day as President began on 30 June at the traditional post-Congress meeting of IHMA’s Executive Committee.

SA officers at IHMA

Captain Naresh Sewnath, Senior Harbour Master, Transnet South Africa, is a Vice President of IHMA. Captain Sabelo Mdalose, Harbour Master of the Port of Durban, Transnet National Ports Authority, is a member of the IHMA Council.

In all IHMA has more than 30 Members in Africa.

Paul Ridgway, Lonidon corresondent at Africa Ports & Ships

Edited by Paul Ridgway

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Opinion: Oversupply of containers leading to second-hand container market


The oversupply of containers is contributing to second-hand container market prices plummeting, Container xChange reports in a recent analysis.

“The current situation of oversupply of containers is a result of a series of reactionary market disruptions that began soon after the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020,” said said Christian Roeloffs, Co-founder and CEO of Container xChange, a tech platform that simplifies the logistics of container movement.

“With the rise in demand, congestion at ports increased and the container capacity was held up for a considerably long period of time. This led to the panic ordering of new boxes at record levels. With time, as markets reopen and demand softens, the oversupply is a natural outcome of demand-supply forces balancing at new levels.”

Roeloffs said the oversupply situation does not come as a surprise because the average container prices and leasing rates have been declining globally since Sept-Oct 2021.

Short to mid-term outlook on freight rates, spot rates and container rates

Freight rates have come down by approximately an average of 20% since the beginning of the year 2022 and these will continue to slide gradually, but there will not be a massive decrease because the underlying disruptions in the supply chain are still there.

Inflation, for one, has started to create build stress on the US economy and the EU. With inflation and pandemic-induced lockdowns, disruptions will continue to change the equation between supply, demand and prices. In the longer term, these will phase out and create a new normal balance of supply and demand.

Fresh data published by Drewry indicates an excess of 6 million TEUs of capacity in the global fleet of containers.

Container xChange analysis further states that the oversupply will obviously lead to the requirement of more depot space which is already scarce. And in a scenario where we assume that the global supply chain disruptions will fade away with time, there will be higher box productivity and we will need fewer boxes per unit of cargo.

As we witness the easing of supply chain disruptions in the coming months it will lead to higher box productivity and a structural surplus of containers. If we also see further softening of demand, this will increase the supply of containers available for cargo.

There is a high possibility of a scenario where the equipment capacity will not get soaked.

“This situation will lead to tighter depot space, carriers will rush to get rid of their older equipment, second-hand container prices will continue to slide gradually only to reach a new normal level and the new market will dry up,” Roeloffs says.

The situation can be studied from the perspective of the market forces of demand and supply. If the demand for containers falls (resulting from the decline in consumer demand over the course of the next few months considering, the rising inflation which could contribute to negative consumer sentiment), then the supply of containers will naturally increase. Also, price is a function of demand and supply. If demand falls and supply increases, prices will fall. And that is what is currently happening with the container prices.

The shape of the Peak Season

We’ve said it before that the main factor that has driven up prices much more than the historical levels has been a supply-side crunch over the past two years because of lengthening turnaround times of containers caused by supply chain congestions. That still holds true. We still have about 10% of transport capacity tied up and removed from the value chain. Demand on the other hand has softened now.

U.S. Imports have decreased by 2.4% between March and April. Purchases of goods went down USD 0.1 billion as higher imports of industrial supplies and materials (up 1.8 billion) were offset by lower imports of consumer goods (down 1.5 billion). – source: U.S. Census Bureau

An interesting point is that in the long run, ocean freight demand is forecasted as a multiplier of global GDP growth. And if global GDP doesn’t plummet by for instance 5%, the global demand for shipping capacity will not significantly plummet.

“To sum up, we foresee a significant rise in the pent-up, peak season demand. This will likely keep container prices potentially stable (prevent them from falling further down or skyrocketing) in the short term as we inch closer to the peak season.”

Rodeloffs says that what remains to be seen is how the geopolitical circumstances and the pandemic-induced lockdowns (for instance, in China) play out in the coming months.

Container xChange is a technology company that offers a container trading and leasing platform, payment infrastructure (for transparent and easier payment handling) and efficient operating systems to manage the end-to-end container movement across the globe for container logistic companies worldwide.

To subscribe to Container xChange’s monthly reports, CLICK HERE

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NIMASA to use Special Mission aircraft to fight oil theft

YouTube Video [2.20] of NIMASA’s Special Mission aircraft provided by Bird Aerosystems

The Director-General of NIMASA (Nigerian Maritime Administration & Safety Agency), Dr Bashir Jamoh, says the agency’s two new special mission aircraft, which arrived in May this year, will be used for deterring oil theft, conducting coastal reconnaissance and to help protect Nigeria’s economy.

The two aircraft are deployed in the Deep Blue fleet that includes three helicopters, four unmanned aerial drones, two special mission vessels and 17 fast interceptor vessels for river and offshore work, and several land-based vehicles.

Dr Jamoh described oil theft, pipeline vandalism and illegal refining as serious crimes that threaten the economic and environmental well-being of Nigeria.

He was addressing the 16th Maritime Seminar for Judges that was organised by the Nigerian Shippers Council.

The aircraft, he said, will prove invaluable in supporting all the various security agencies deployed to combat this ongoing criminal activity.

The aircraft will provide a means of observing suspicious activity on the ground as well as vessel movements in and around the oil-industry facilities.

“We shall be deploying our two special mission aircraft for aerial surveillance to prevent and fight oil theft in the country,” Jamoh said.

“With this, we aim at using the aircraft to patrol sensitive areas, and record suspicious human and vessel movements to process intelligence for timely action by our security agencies.”

He said the oil industry is critical to Nigeria’s national economy and no space of the sector should be left for criminals to occupy or operate.

“We have recorded gains in our maritime security efforts and more needs to be done to sustain and consolidate on these gains.

“Our collaborations with security agencies which we have MoUs with is, among other reasons, to collaborate and work ahead of criminal elements.”

Short [1.24] YouTube video of NIMASA’s new aircraft under reconstruction

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South African Summer Citrus arriving in the USA

Grapefruit, in Africa Ports & Ships

South African Summer Citrus is now arriving on the US east coast with some volumes making their way to the mid-west and southern states later in the season.

That’s as reported by the Summer Citrus from South Africa (SCSA) in its current newsletter, in which it says the arrival of the first conventional vessel has traditionally been a big celebration. After a gap of two years the marketing group has finally had the opportunity to toast to the first vessel’s arrival in Philadelphia.

Check out their new video of the vessel’s arrival in Philadelphia below!

“You will see SCSA-grown products at the importers’ repacking facilities and see first-hand from our loyal U.S. service providers and importers as they elaborate on our unique business model and collaboration.”

At the end of week 28, 55% of the 2022 crop has been packed!

45% of this has shipped in the form of seven conventional vessels plus containers. The majority of the 9,000 pallets in these containers will arrive in New York, with one vessel making a stop in Packer Avenue, PA, and a number of containers planned to reach Savannah, GA, and Houston, TX.

This past week, they discharged the largest conventional vessel their group has ever shipped, accounting for 7,500 pallets. For the remainder of the season, they will continue to send weekly conventional vessels and containers in-between to meet the demand of the market.

“In terms of shipped volumes, our fruit basket offers 47% Easy Peelers, 42% Navel Oranges, 8% Star Ruby and 3% Cara-Cara,” says Suhanra Conradie, CEO of Summer Citrus from South Africa.

SCSA YouTube video [3:59]

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Added 19 July 2022


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WHARF TALK: Handysize chemical tanker – STOLT ALM

The chemical tanker Stolt Alm in Cape Town harbour. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
The chemical tanker Stolt Alm in Cape Town harbour. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Jay Gates, in Africa Ports & Ships

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

The regular arrival of vessels of all shapes, sizes and trades into Cape Town, for no other reason than to take on bunkers and stores is well known. As is the regular arrival of product tankers bringing in much needed cargoes of every type of fuel required to run a functioning society. What is unusual is when a tanker arrives, but not to discharge any cargo, for no other reason than to uplift bunkers, and take on stores, when halfway through a long oceanic passage.

On 14th July at 08h00 the handysize chemical tanker STOLT ALM (IMO 9719238) arrived off Cape Town from the M’Bao Terminal, at Dakar in Senega. She immediately entered Cape Town harbour, but did not proceed into the tanker basin, but rather went alongside the Eastern Mole in the Duncan Dock, the normal berth set aside for vessels arriving for a quick bunkers, and stores, call only.

Stolt Alm's accommodation and funnel. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Stolt Alm’s accommodation and funnel. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 2016 by New Times Shipbuilding at Jingjiang in China, ‘Stolt Alm’ is 185 metres in length and has a deadweight of 32,834 tons. She is powered by a single Hudong MAN-B&W 5G50ME-B9 5 cylinder 2 stroke main engine producing 7,954 bhp (5,850 kW), driving a fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 14.5 knots.

Her auxiliary machinery includes two Daihatsu 8DK-20E generators providing 1,240 kW each, and a single Daihatsu 6DK-20 generator providing 1,040 kW. She also has a single exhaust gas boiler, and a single oil fired boiler. For additional manoeuvrability she has a bow transverse thruster providing 750 kW. As a chemical tanker, ‘Stolt Alm’ has no fewer than 28 cargo tanks, with a cargo carrying capacity of 37,850 m3.

The ship's bridge and accommodation area. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
The ship’s bridge and accommodation area. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

One of the ways to tell the difference between a small product tanker, from a chemical tanker, is by looking at the midships manifold area of the vessel. A product tanker has a simple manifold, usually with 12 connections for each tank, whilst a chemical tanker has a vastly more complicated manifold, with many connections for the great variety of tanks they have, for the carriage of chemicals, most of which are of a capacity well below that of fuel product tanks.

One of eight sisterships, ‘Stolt Alm’ was the first of the class, and was originally ordered by Jo Tankers AS, of Kokstad in Norway, and to be named ‘Jo Alm’. However, Stolt Tankers purchased Jo Tankers in 2016, and renamed all of the class with standard ‘Stolt’ prefixes, but kept the name suffix. The class are all named after species of tree.

Evidence that this is a chemical tanker. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Evidence that this is a chemical tanker. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

All of the sisterships were placed under the ownership of a joint venture company of both Stolt Tankers and Jo Tankers.

Owned by Hassel Shipping 4 AS of Kokstad in Norway, ‘Stolt Alm’ is operated by Stolt Tankers BV, of Rotterdam in Holland, and managed by Stolt-Nielsen (UK) Ltd. of London. Stolt Tankers, are the operators of the largest fleet of chemical parcel tankers in the world, with a fleet currently numbering 160 vessels.

In an unusual move, all of the class were originally registered in Cardiff, the capital city of Wales in the United Kingdom, rather than London, or under a British flag of convenience such as the Isle of Man, or Bermuda.

Further evidence, of the ship's former identity this time. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Further evidence, of the ship’s former identity this time. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

This is not the first time that ‘Stolt Alm’ has displayed the famous Stolt houseflag, which is prominent on her funnel, in a South African port, as she had previously discharged a parcel of chemicals at the Island View terminal in Durban, back in December 2020.

Stolt operate their own chemical terminal in Antwerp, known as Stolthaven. With her current voyage starting at Stolthaven in Antwerp, where she loaded her parcels of chemicals, ‘Stolt Alm’ had discharged in Dakar, and was en-route to India. Her call for bunkers was confirmed when the bunker tanker ‘Southern Valour’ came alongside to begin the transfer of the required bunker fuel. After a call of only 14 hours, ‘Stolt Alm’ was ready to sail later that evening, and at 22:00 on 14th July she sailed from Cape Town, with her destination set for Haldia in India.

Stolt Alm on the Eastern Mole where she took bunkers. Picture by 'Dockrat', in Africa Ports & Ships
Stolt Alm on the Eastern Mole where she took bunkers. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Haldia is a major petrochemical port located in West Bengal state, in India. As well as having the 14th largest oil refinery in India, commissioned in 1975, and capable of refining 8 million tons of crude oil per year, Haldia also has a number of chemical terminals located within a major petrochemical industrial complex that covers an area of 350 km2.

There are three tanker berths, all located on the River Hooghly, and the port lies 64 nautical miles to the southwest of the great river port of Kolkata (previously named Calcutta). The port is located at 22°01’ North 088°05’ East, and lists chemicals as one of its major import commodities. Haldia is located 25 nautical miles up the Hooghly River, and the total length of pilotage for the port totals 66 nautical miles, including sea pilotage of 41 nautical miles, as well as the 25 miles of river pilotage.

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Added 19 July 2022


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Mystery of APL Vanda solved

APL VANDA, currently under charter to CMA CGM. Picture Michael Witt / Shipspotting, in Africa Ports & Ships
APL VANDA, currently under charter to CMA CGM. Picture Michael Witt / Shipspotting

The mystery surrounding the loss of some containers overboard from the CMA CGM chartered container vessel, APL VANDA, has been cleared up following an acknowledgement by French carrier CMA CGM that the 17,300-TEU ship suffered a stack collapse at sea resulting in 55 containers being lost overboard.

This occurred on 3 July while en-route from Singapore to Suez, shortly before the ship arrived in the Gulf of Aden. The ship was experiencing heavy swells during a spell of strongish monsoon winds out of the southwest.

APL Vanda is now in the port of Doraleh, Djibouti where some damaged containers are to be cleared, according to CMA CGM.

The mystery surrounding this incident arose when unconfirmed reports began circulating that the ship had lost some boxes overboard and had gone to anchor off the coast of Africa before arriving off Djibouti on 6 July.

The following day CMA CGM issued a statement saying the vessel had suffered an ‘unexpected incident’ which would delay its arrival in North Europe by two weeks.

Had CMA CGM made an early statement with the facts there would have been no speculation over the matter.

This is not the first time APL Vanda has been in the news. In 2016 she went aground in the Solent outside the port of Southampton after having a loss of engine power.

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Swastika’s in Africa: Feedback on a Wharf Talk article

The following feedback has been received clarifying some information in a recent Africa Ports & Ships article on Bouvet Island (4 July).

Reference is to the statements on the Swastika being flown in a South African Port.

[Quote from above article] However, on 25th February 1939, for the first time ever, a German vessel, the ‘Schwabenland’ under the command of Albert Ritscher, called into Cape Town flying the German Swastika on her ensign. It was the first time that such a flag had flown in a South African port. Although she was a merchant vessel, she was manned by German Naval personnel.

She had arrived from Antarctica, where the Germans had carried out a programme of claiming a huge swath of Antarctica for Nazi Germany. She called into Bouvetøya on her way back. She sailed for Hamburg on 1st March 1939. The Swastika was never seen again in Cape Town, or any other South African port. The start of the Second World War, some six months later, and the defeat of the Nazis, meant that all German claims to Antarctica were nullified. [End Quote]

Arne Soderlund writes:

Advert for swastika's available at Shepherd’s Emporium in Observatory, in Africa Ports & Ships
Advert for swastika’s available at Shepherd’s Emporium in Observatory

From 1933 until 1939 (and on to 1945 in fact) the internationally accepted German Merchant Flag contained a large swastika in the centre and was worn by all German merchant vessels calling at SA Ports. In addition, the German battleship called here in 1937 sporting the naval ensign, also displaying a swastika prominently. A few other warships followed her here.

Prior to 1939 the swastika was an acceptable device to most and we even has a SA National Socialist Party which openly wore them, Attached is an advert for them at Shepherd’s Emporium in Observatory!

So the swastika was actually regularly seen here.

Kind regards
Arne Soderlund

Jay Gates responds as follows:

I think that I should have clarified in the article that I was referring to the Nazi Kriegsmarine Ensign flying. Schwabenland was a Merchant Vessel owned by the Deutsche Luft Hansa shipping company, registered in Bremen, and was not a warship. Yet, as she was crewed by German Naval officers for this secret cruise, they decided to fly the Kriegsmarine Ensign, presumably because German protocol allowed it.

I was aware of the visit of the German Naval Cruiser Emden in January 1935 to both Cape Town and East London, under the command of Fregattenkapitän Karl Dönitz, the future and last leader of the despicable Nazi regime (pictured). However, your correspondent’s timeline is not quite accurate for use of ensigns. Between 1933 and 1935, all German vessels, merchant and naval, used the old Imperial German Ensign, and Emden is clearly flying that ensign when she entered Cape Town harbour in 1935. It was not until after that time that the Swastika Ensign was used on Merchant vessels, as well as naval vessels. As I mentioned earlier, my mindset was on naval vessel ensigns, and not merchant vessels.

I have to admit that I did not know of any Nazi battleship calling in to South African ports in 1937, and am happy to have that amendment made in regard to Schwabenland not being the first Swastika Naval Ensign to fly in a South African port. Which battleship was it, and which support ships accompanied her? I assume it was in Cape Town. Did any Nazi Navy vessels call after March 1939?

I fully acknowledge that the swastika has other meanings to other people, including religious relevance, and in that time of the 20th century, Nazi sympathisers and other national socialists would wrap the swastika around them, but as the article was not a political one, but about Bouvet Island, it didn’t occur to me that such a connection would be made. The Finnish Air Force had the Swastika as the roundel on their warplanes, although they themselves were not Nazis.

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DP World rolls out e-commerce platform into Ghana and Zambia

DP World rolls out e-commerce platform into Ghana and Zambia in Africa Ports & Ships

DP World on Monday (18 July) announced the continued expansion of its e-commerce platform in Africa, with launches in both Ghana and Zambia. The latest roll-out of the wholesale marketplace opens access to global supply chains for even more African businesses. provides advanced technology and secure transactions for wholesale traders, connecting them safely and efficiently to international markets. These digital tools are underpinned by DP World’s robust physical infrastructure across Africa, such as the port at Maputo and its connections with East and South Africa.

On the West Coast, DP World currently offers port-centric logistics solutions through Senegal and Angola.

With already offered in the UAE, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya, the latest launches are a reflection of DP World’s commitment to creating strategic trading gateways for the region, both physically and digitally.

“ continues to offer African businesses new ways to trade and expand,” says Mahmood Al Bastaki, Chief Operating Officer of Dubai Trade.

“We are committed to providing digital infrastructure that connects economies and opens access to markets for all businesses. The latest launches connect our users with even more opportunities for growth.”

DP World claims to be the leading provider of worldwide smart end-to-end supply chain logistics, enabling the flow of trade across the globe and has ar comprehensive range of products and services covering every link of the integrated supply chain – from maritime and inland terminals to marine services and industrial parks as well as technology-driven customer solutions.

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Don’t look for trouble, warns Nigeria’s new transport minister

If you give me trouble, I’ll give it back tenfold, says transport minister

From left, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki and Eng. Mua'zu Sambo, In Africa Ports & Ships
From left, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki and Eng. Mua’zu Sambo

That’s the short and not-so-sweet message from Nigeria’s new transport minister, Eng. Mua’zu Sambo, during the handing over of the portfolio by his predecessor, Senator Gbemisola Saraki.

Sambo made this clear last week when he formally assumed office. He addressed his warning to officials of the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMOT).

It is a pleasure to be here. I would like to say it is a pleasure to be back home. I started my life in the maritime industry, NPA precisely, in 1984 and I went through other sectors of the economy and ended up in the National Inland Waterways Authority,” the new minister said.

He said he was entering the department with an open mind and appealed to those in the ministry to provide him with all the support they can muster. He did not want to have to wish he’d remained as a minister of state in the ministry of Works and Housing.

He said he was meeting the people with an open mind. source: Ships & Ports

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APM Terminals MedPort Tangier invests to drive down CO2 emissions

Picture: Cavotec MoorMaster, IN Africa Ports & Ships
Picture: Cavotec MoorMaster

Along with the expansion of MedPort Tangier, APM Terminals is applying its global commitment to achieving a 70% reduction in absolute emissions by 2030 and Net Zero emissions by 2040.

The expansion phases at MedPort Tangier will employ fully electric or hybrid terminal equipment, automated mooring technology, and potential shore power.

Following its inauguration in 2019, APM Terminals MedPort Tangier, an automated transhipment terminal, became one of the most technologically advanced terminals in Africa.

The terminal has two expansion phases planned. The second phase of development commenced in April 2021 and is currently on schedule to be fully operational in Q1 2024. The third phase is planned to be operational in Q1 2025. In total, the investment will increase capacity by more than 2.1 million TEU, cover 35.5 hectares and increase the quay length from 1200 metres to 2000m.

Electric and hybrid equipment

New equipment will include 8 electric ship-to-shore cranes and 28 electric automated rail mounted gantry cranes. A fleet of 23 new semi-automated hybrid shuttle carriers from Kalmar and its hybrid AutoStrad solution will ensure high productivity and further support reduced CO2 emissions.

The terminal will also install an innovative auto-mooring system, supplied by Cavotec, that will integrate its latest automated vacuum pads along the extended part of the quay and improve safety and operational efficiency. This will reduce the time taken by vessels to moor and release, with idle times estimated to be reduced to around 15 minutes at both arrival and departure. This will save a total of around 1 hour of idle time.

APM Terminals MedPort Tangier, Africa's busiest container port, in Africa Ports & Ships
APM Terminals MedPort Tangier, Africa’s busiest container port   APMT

Auto-mooring to reduce call times

The system will reduce time spent by tugs in port – reducing emissions – and faster turnaround means each vessel can cruise more slowly and efficiently to its next port of call. According to Cavotec, the system can reduce direct emissions during ship berthing by more than 90% due to reduced use of tugs and ship engines.

Once ships are moored, the system’s active hydraulics significantly reduce vessel motion, thereby positively impacting the terminals already exceptional crane moves per hour. APM Terminals MedPort Tangier consistently achieved productivity levels above 30 crane moves per hour in 2021 and is on target to increase this to 34 in 2022. As a result of improved efficiency, average vessel call times are expected to be reduced by an average of 2 hours (in addition to the saving of 1 hour due to faster mooring and release times).

Shore power

Together with the port authority, the company is also conducting a feasibility study into providing shore power. When ships use shore power, they connect to landside electricity for their power needs at berth – lights, pumps, communications, refrigeration – instead of running diesel-fuelled auxiliary on-board engines. According to the US EPA, for vessels connected to shore power, under the right conditions, overall pollutant emissions can be reduced by up to 98%.

“We are constantly on the lookout for new ways to increase operational and energy efficiencies and reduce the climate impacts of our terminals,” says Sahar Rashidbeigi, Head of Decarbonisation at APM Terminals.

“Pushing boundaries and exploring new technology will help us achieve not only our own net-zero-emissions goals but also support our customers and the broader maritime industry in decarbonising their respective operations.”

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WHARF TALK: US Task Force 88, March 1961 – OPERATION SOLANT AMITY 1 

USS Hermitage LSD-34 Navsource, in Africa Ports & Ships
USS Hermitage LSD-34 Navsource

Jay gates, Africa Ports & Ships

by Jay Gates

When was the last time that a foreign naval power conducted an amphibious invasion assault on South African soil? Was it in the Napoleonic era when the British invaded the Cape at the Battle of Muizenberg Beach on 7th August 1795? Or maybe it was when the British returned to retake the Cape at the Battle of Blaauwberg Beach on 8th January 1806?

The last time was actually when the Americans invaded the Cape at the Battle of Woodstock Beach on 14th March 1961. It was when the United States Navy arrived with Task Force 88 on Operation Solant Amity 1, and it was witnessed by 30,000 people.

USS Herschel 'Woody' Williams, 25 September 2021, in Africa Ports & Ships
USS Herschel ‘Woody’ Williams, 25 September 2021.  Picture: ‘Dockrat’

The Americans have always undertaken Goodwill Cruises, and they continue to do that to this day, with the two recent visits to Cape Town by the USS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams (ESB-4) in September 2021, and before that in February 2021. There have been many more since 1994, but in the early 1960s they conducted a series of four major African goodwill tours, all under the title of ‘Operation Solant Amity’.

The cruises were the initiative of newly elected American President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and whose purpose was to develop relations with all of the newly emerging independent nations of Africa, provide humanitarian aid where required, and assist the local authorities with medical assistance and military training where needed. Under the title of Task Force 88, the first of the cruises, Solant Amity 1, sailed from the United States in early 1961.

USS Vogelgesang (DD-862). Picture: Navsource, in Africa Ports & Ships
USS Vogelgesang (DD-862). Picture: Navsource

The Solant Amity 1 fleet comprised of USS Hermitage (LSD-34), USS Graham County (LST-1176), USS Gearing (DD-710), USS Vogelgesang (DD-862) and USS Nespelen (AOG-55), under the command of Rear Admiral Allan J. Reed USN. On sailing from the USA, the fleet’s first African port of arrival was Monrovia in Liberia, followed by Bathurst (now Banjul) in Gambia, Lomé in Togo, Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, Pointe Noire in the Republic of Congo, Matadi in newly independent Congo, Conakry in Guinea, Accra in Ghana, Freetown in Sierra Leone, Pointe Noire once more, and finally Cape Town.

The slow southward route of the fleet was temporarily reversed after their first call at Pointe Noire, due to a request from the United Nations to evacuate UN troops from Congo, who were located in Matadi, up the Congo River. Unrest in Congo, which had been ongoing since independence resulted in 500 Guinean troops having to be uplifted by the US fleet, including injured and sick members of the failed UN peacekeeping force.

USS Graham County (LST-1176). Picture: Navsource, in Africa Ports & Ships
USS Graham County (LST-1176). Picture: Navsource

The bulk of the US Marines force aboard USS Graham County (LST-1176) were reallocated to other members of the Solant Amity fleet, and the UN Guinean troops were loaded into the vast tank deck. Seven days later they were all safely disembarked in Conakry. The fleet continued south, after a few additional calls in West Africa.

On 11th March 1961, the American fleet entered the Duncan Dock, where they would remain for the next six days. In a time that is now, thankfully, long gone, all of the Sailors and Marines in the US fleet were given orientation briefings before going ashore. The official warnings that were issued to them all, included the strong advice that they were not to speak to a black woman under any conditions, not even just to ask directions.

Preparing for the invasion, in Africa Ports & Ships
Preparing for the invasion

According to the briefing, if they were seen talking to a black woman there was a strong likelihood that they would automatically be arrested for solicitation. As the US personnel were completely subject to the local laws of the Apartheid regime, they were informed that should anyone be incarcerated in the local jail in Cape Town, that when the ship sailed, they would be left behind, and officially logged as being AWOL on the first crew roll-call.

After a few days alongside, the fleet sailed out into Table Bay to conduct a naval exercise, and display amphibious landing techniques to the local South African military. However, word got around, and 30,000 people decided to turn up to watch. They gathered at every viewing spot from Paarden Eiland, all along Marine Drive as far as Milnerton, and onto Woodbridge Island. Capetonians even crowded onto High Level Road at Green Point to watch the spectacle.

USMC having landed in Africa Ports & Ships
USMC on the beach

The landing from the gathered fleet began just after 11h00 on the morning of the 14th March, with Sikorsky H-34 ‘Choctaw’ helicopters from the United States Marine Corps HMR(L)-264 squadron, nicknamed ‘The Black Knights’, and who were embarked on USS Hermitage (LSD-34). The helicopters began with an air-sea rescue display, before four tracked LVTP-5 Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV) Amtracs, each loaded with 34 Marines, came ashore on the beach after ‘swimming’ from USS Graham County (LST-1176), which had been sitting in a position just over a mile offshore.

The Marines were from the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, under the command of Major Richard Hurth Jr. USMC, and for the next thirty minutes they turned the beach close to Milnerton Lagoon into a rollicking bedlam of roaring engines, massive pyrotechnic explosions, chattering machine guns and barking assault rifles. The whole assault exercise was watched by the South African Governor-General, the Honourable Charles Swart, the first female Mayor of Cape Town, Mrs. Joyce Newton-Thompson, and over 100 other South African Civil, Political and Military VIPs, including Diplomatic Defence Attachés from Cape Town.

Beach assault, in Africa Ports & Ships
Beach assault

The beach assault continued with more Marine reinforcements being landed by more H-34 Choctaw helicopters. The exercise ended when the advancing Marines overran the ‘Enemy Command Position’, and destroyed it with an attack with hand grenades and flame throwers. Once the exercise was declared over, thousands of observers and spectators were allowed onto the beach to see the military hardware on display, and at close hand. The sheer numbers of people who had made their way to Milnerton to see the exercise was such that the traffic leaving the area took over an hour to clear, despite the best efforts of the local Traffic Officers.

From there, a flight of five Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw helicopters flew in formation to the nearby South African Air Force Base at Ysterplaat and conducted a helicopter assault demonstration, which included the dropping of a fully equipped paratroop reconnaissance section, which was followed by a formation flying display.

Sikorsky H-34 ‘Choctaw’ helicopter in Africa Ports & Ships
Sikorsky H-34 ‘Choctaw’ helicopters heading for Ysterplaat Air Force Base

The fleet then returned to their assigned berths in Cape Town harbour to continue with their rest and recreation (R&R) break, which by all accounts was a very successful stay, and reportedly to be the best one that all of the crews had experienced on the cruise.

The Solant Amity 1 cruise flagship was USS Hermitage (LSD-4), which was a Thomaston Class Dock Landing Ship, one of eight constructed. She was built by Ingalls Shipbuilding at Pascagoula in Mississippi, launched in June 1956, and commissioned in December 1956. She was 160 metres long and of 8,899 displacement tons. She was powered by two geared steam turbines producing 24,000 bhp (17,897 kW), driving two fixed pitch propellers for a service speed of 21 knots.

She carried a crew of 348 Officers and men, and could carry an embarked Marine complement of 325. Her welldeck was capable of holding 3 x LCU landing craft, or 9 x LCM landing craft, or a complement of 50 x LVTP-5 Amtracs. She was armed with 4 x Twin 3” guns, 4 x Twin 40mm AA guns and 6 x Twin 20mm AA guns. She was finally decommissioned in October 1989.

USS Hermitage LSD-34, in Africa Ports & Ships
USS Hermitage LSD-34

USS Graham County (LST-1176) was a De Soto County Class Tank Landing Ship, one of a class of seven built, She was built by Newport News Shipbuilding at Newport News in Virginia, launched in September 1957 and commissioned in April 1958. She was 136 metres in length and of 7,823 displacement tons. She was powered by six General Motors Nordberg 16-287A diesel engines producing 24,000 bhp (17,897 kW), driving two controllable pitch propellers for a service speed of 17 knots.

She carried a crew of 170 officers and men, and could carry an embarked Marine contingent of 410. She carried 4 x LCVP landing craft, and her tank deck was capable of holding up to 28 medium tanks or armoured vehicles. She was armed with 3 x Twin 3” guns. She was finally decommissioned in March 1977. She was the only fully air-conditioned vessel in the fleet, which made her very popular with her crew, and embarked Marines, when in tropical African waters.

USS Gearing (DD-710) was the lead name of the Gearing class of Destroyer, of which 98 were built for the United States Navy. She was built by Federal Shipbuilding of Port Newark in New Jersey, launched in February 1945 and commissioned in May 1945. She was 119 metres in length, and of 3,460 displacement tons. She was powered by two General Electric geared steam turbines producing 60,000 bhp (44,742 kW) driving two fixed pitch propellers for a maximum service speed of 36 knots.

USS Gearing DD-710, in Africa Ports & Ships
USS Gearing DD-710

She carried a crew of 274 officers and men, and was armed with 3 x Twin 5” guns, 12 x 40mm AA guns and 11 x 20mm AA guns. She was decommissioned in July 1973.

She was joined by her sistership USS Vogelgesang (DD-862), another of the Gearing Class destroyers. Her particulars are the same as those of USS Gearing, other than she was built by Bethlehem Steel of Staten Island in New York, She was launched in January 1945, and commissioned in April 1945. She was finally decommissioned in February 1982.

The final unit of Task Force 88 was USS Nespelen (AOG-55), a Patapsco Class Fleet Auxiliary Replenishment Tanker, one of a class of 23 built. All naval fleets need to have an accompanying oiler to provide them with necessary fuels and oils, and the Solant Amity 1 fleet was no different. She was built by Cargill Incorporated at Savage in Minnesota, launched in April 1945 and commissioned in August 1945. She was 95 metres in length and of 4,335 displacement tons and was powered by 4 x General Motors Cleveland 12-278A diesel engines producing 3,920 bhp (2,920 kW), driving two fixed pitch propellers for a service speed of 15 knots.

She had a crew of 124 officers and men. She had a cargo carrying capacity of 2,550 m3, and she was armed with 4 x 3” guns and 12 x 20mm AA guns. As an auxiliary tanker, USS Nespelen was unusual in that she accompanied the first American Antarctic ‘Operation Deep Freeze’ expedition to McMurdo Sound in Antarctica during the Austral summer of 1955-1956. She was one of a fleet of six naval support vessels, comprising Task Force 43, and accompanied by three icebreakers. She was decommissioned in July 1975.

USS Nespelen AOG-55. Picture: Navsource in Africa Ports & Ships
USS Nespelen AOG-55. Picture: Navsource

With the successful visit to Cape Town of Solant Amity 1 over, the combined fleet sailed from the Cape on 17th March 1961, bound back to Pointe Noire and thence back to the USA. This was the first of four successful Solant Amity cruises to Africa, with the last one taking place in 1963.

Solent Amity II called in at Durban between 19th and 24th May 1961, and Cape Town between 19th and 29th July 1961, with additional calls at Bathurst (Banjul) in Gambia, Diego Suarez (Antsiranana) in Madagascar, Port Victoria in the Seychelles, St. Denis in Reunion, Zanzibar, Aden in Yemen, Mombasa in Kenya, Lomé in Togo and Libreville in Gabon. The fleet for Solant Amity II comprised USS Spiegel Grove (LSD-32), USS York County (LST-1175), USS New (DD-818), USS Jonas Ingram (DD-938) and USS Chewaucan (AOG-50).

Solant Amity III called in at Simonstown between 12th October and 14th October 1961, then Port Elizabeth between 16th October and 20th October, and finally Cape Town between 24th October and 28th October 1961. The fleet also called at Pointe Noire in Congo, Freetown in Sierra Leone, Conakry in Guinea, and Baffu Bay, Harper and Monrovia, all in Liberia. The Solant Amity III fleet comprised of USS Donner (LSD-20), USS Suffolk County (LST-1173), USS Meredith (DD-890), USS Forrest Sherman (DD-931) and USS Mattabesset (AOG-52).

LVTP Amtrac in the water, in Africa Ports & Ships
LVTP Amtrac in the water

The final cruise, Solant Amity IV, called in at Cape Town between 27th March and 31st March 1963, then Durban between 20th April and 22nd April, returning to Cape Town between 25th April and 27th April 1963. The fleet also called at Freetown in Sierra Leone, Monrovia in Liberia, Lagos in Nigeria, Pointe Noire in Congo, Lourenço Marques (Maputo) in Mozambique, and a final call at Tristan da Cunha on 2nd May 1963 when en-route back to the USA. The final Solant Amity IV fleet comprised USS Spiegel Grove (LSD-32), USS Van Voorhuis (DD-1028), USS Joseph K. Taussig (DD-1030), and USS Chewaucan (AOG-50).

United States Navy vessels continued to call into South African ports as the years went by after Solant Amity finished, but the calls were sporadic, and the South African politics of the day was starting to have an effect on international relations. The next major USN vessel to call into Cape Town was in February 1967, when the Midway Class aircraft carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42) called and, sadly, this visit ended up becoming famous for all the wrong reasons.

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Kenya ports and the concessioning debate – is Mombasa up to it?

The Port of Mombasa 2nd container terminal in Africa Ports & Ships
The Port of Mombasa 2nd container terminal with three STS cranes being delivered,  Picture: KPA

Has Kenya ventured any further down the road toward the privatising (dreaded word) of several ports including Mombasa, as has been whispered recently?

The ports mentioned in hushed tones are Mombasa, Lamu and Kisumu – the latter port on Lake Victoria where the Kenya government is keen to reinvigorate lake traffic and a considerable amount has been invested to rehabilitate port facilities.

Among the rumours being expressed are that the three ports mentioned have been sold off, or concessioned if you prefer, to Dubai-based DP World, or that it is ahead in the queue.

Port of Lamu

Lamu has been mentioned as a likely candidate for concessioning since the first berth was commissioned in 2020 and becoming operational a year later. The port is a key factor in the ambitious development of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport and Development Corridor (LAPSSET), a public-private partnership (PPP) that is intended to link the three neighbouring countries of Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

So far only the single berth at Lamu has fulfilled part of that intention and even that has a long way to go before beginning to justify the cost of its development. Funding shortfalls have hampered development of the port, leading to a number of port operators being explored by the government as potential private partners.

That is where DP World’s name appears, something acknowledged by Kenya Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Ukur Yatani, last year when he was quoted saying DP World was among port operators under consideration to run the port.

It had become clear that Kenya Ports Authority, which manages and operates the country’s other ports including Mombasa, lacks the capacity to do so with Lamu.

When the port’s first of three intended berths in phase one was opened in 2020, it required cargo handling equipment which has since been borrowed from Mombasa. The situation meant that only ships with own gear and ro-ro vessels were required to call at the port with cargo.

DP World

Who the other operators are that may or may not have been approached has not been disclosed, which is not unusual in itself, but the fact that DP World has been discussed in public is seen as significant, although Yatani said there was as yet no commitment.

Talk of the Kenya government seeking to privatise the ports is not new. In 2016 there were reports that government was intending to privatise the port of Mombasa, which Deputy President William Ruto quickly denied, saying such reports were baseless.

This was after the Dock Workers Union expressed their concern.

“We want to commercialise the port and make it efficient. We will be insane to think of selling the port after spending billions to expand and modernise it,” he said at the time.

Meetings were held with the union representatives and the matter quietened down.

The new port of Berbera, operated by DP World, in Africa Ports & Ships
The new port of Berbera, operated by DP World

Berbera, Dakar, Sokhna

DP World has a number of African port involvements already under its belt, including the container terminal at Maputo in Mozambique. Other ports where DP World is involved include Berbera in Somaliland, Dakar in Senegal and Sokhna in Egypt as well as in Algiers and an inland terminal at Kigali.

In October last year DP World announced a partnership with the British CDC Group which would invest US$320 million initially and a further $400 million at a later stage to be used in the development of the ports of Berbera, Dakar and Sokhna.

CDC Group

“We are excited to announce a partnership with CDC Group that will enable increased investment in ports and logistics infrastructure across Africa, driving efficiency and trade growth,” said Ahmed bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman and CEO.

“The partnership will create transformational opportunities for tens of millions of people over the next decade. In CDC, we have found a partner with whom we share the common goal to invest in the long term and help build responsible and sustainable infrastructure in Africa, which is key to unlocking the trade potential of the continent.”

CDC’s CEO, Nick O’Donohoe said Africa’s full potential is limited by inadequate ports and trade bottlenecks, putting the brakes on economic growth in some of the world’s fastest-growing economies and undermining social resilience in the least developed parts of the world.

This platform will help entrepreneurs and businesses accelerate growth with access to reliable trade routes, and it will help African consumers benefit from the improved reliability and reduced cost of vital goods and food staples,” O’Donohoe said.

Not that any of this background answers the rumours concerning Mombasa port and its terminals being on the market for concessioning.

In April of this year phase two of Mombasa’s $280 million second container terminal was commissioned, with Kenya Ports Authority taking on the responsibility of operating the terminal alongside the older and larger port container terminal. Financing for phase two came from Japan International Cooperation Agency and its readiness has enabled much larger container ships to call at the Kenya port.


The Japanese investors are keen for a private operator to be brought in to operate the terminal, which adds a further 450,000 TEU capacity to the 1.6 million TEU capacity of the older terminal.

Something similar occurred when the Chinese banks financed the building of the well-known Kenyan standard gauge railway from Mombasa to Nairobi and Naivasha, and placed pressure on the Kenyans to appoint a Chinese rail operator.

Concessioning or privatisation, call it what you may, is a sensitive matter and controversial, and not only with the unions but other roleplayers as well. The main fear of concessioning as always in these matters is that of job losses. State-owned and operated African ports are often overpopulated with employees on the basis that employment of people is a priority even if it leads to inefficient operation.

None of which answers the question relating to the rumours mentioned above. While it is doubtful of there being any real basis for these suggestions, neither can they be totally ruled out.

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WTO Webinar: Trade-related developments in an interdependent world

"Trade is part of the solution to the big problems we face," WTO DG Okonjo-Iweala speaking on the webinar in Africa Ports & Ships
“Trade is part of the solution to the big problems we face,” WTO DG Okonjo-Iweala speaking on the webinar. Picture: WTO

In the words of World Trade Organization Director-General Okonjo-Iweala: “Trade is part of the solution to the big problems we face.”

The Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have prompted new questions about whether trade, value chains and interdependence increase the vulnerability or resilience of countries but the WTO’s analytical work clearly shows that trade “is part of the solution to the big problems we face,” WTO DG Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said in a remote presentation on 13 July.

The DG, speaking at the webinar entitled: Trade-related developments in an interdependent world: Policy implications for governments and the WTO, noted that rising geopolitical tensions have led some to call for economic decoupling between rival blocs.

However, she said such decoupling “would be tremendously costly, and de-globalisation would create supply vulnerability problems of its own.”

Instead, a process of re-globalisation – building deeper and more diverse international markets by bringing countries and communities from the margins of the global economy into the mainstream – offers a more promising path to build more resilient markets whilst reducing poverty and exclusion.

As part of the video link she commented: “Places like Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia have already expanded their footprint in global manufacturing as costs have risen in China and elsewhere in East Asia. We need to extend this further, to other places in Africa, South Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere.

“The WTO toolkit can help foster this re-globalisation process – trade facilitation, services trade liberalisation and regulatory cooperation, and prospective rules on digital trade would help countries lower trade costs and tap into value chains.”

Overlapping and intensifying

Speakers at the webinar examined how countries can use trade to address the many overlapping and intensifying crises that the world faces today and how the WTO can best support these efforts.

The Director-General said that supply chains have been vital in responding to the pandemic, and cooperation on trade will be essential to mitigate and manage the effects of the current food crisis. In addition, greening economies to get to net zero emissions will be more expensive and less efficient unless governments leverage the full potential of trade.

In addition to the Director-General, remarks and presentations were made by WTO Deputy Director-General Anabel González; Daria Taglioni, World Bank Research Manager on Trade and Integration; and Otaviano Canuto, Senior Fellow with the Policy Centre for the New South.

“All countries grow more if they are open to trade and investment than if they are closed,” said DDG González.

“Effective trade cooperation and the WTO have a key role in keeping the global economy open and the path to trade-led development clear for all countries, especially those that have yet to benefit from participating in global value chains.”

A recording of the webinar is AVAILABLE HERE

Paul Ridgway, Lonidon corresondent at Africa Ports & Ships

Edited by Paul Ridgway

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Imperial acquires controlling stake in Nigeria’s Africa FMCG Distribution Ltd

Imperial Logistics in Africa Ports & Ships
Imperial Logistics

South African-based Imperial Logistics, now owned by DP World, one of the largest operators of ports and terminals worldwide, has acquired a controlling stake in Africa FMCG Distribution Ltd (AFMCG), which is part of the Chanrai Group of Companies.

According to Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, DP World’s Group Chairman and CEO, the transaction is aligned with DP World’s ambition of becoming the leading market access and logistics partner in Africa by connecting trade flows into and out of Africa.

Imperial, now owned by DP World, confirmed that its Market Access business has completed the strategic acquisition of a controlling stake in Africa FMCG Distribution Ltd (AFMCG), which is part of the Chanrai Group of Companies.

AFMCG is a multi-faceted business, distributing products that have an impact on the lives of consumers in Africa every day. The business offers a nationwide and best-in-class route-to-market solution across multiple channels in Nigeria.

Its services also extend to co-manufacturing, co-packing, sourcing and value-added services in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector.

Representing some of the world’s leading multi-national FMCG companies and their brands, AFMCG has a wide-ranging product portfolio supported by an experienced, efficient and highly professional team, and a robust technology and infrastructure.

“This transaction is aligned with our ambition of becoming the leading market access and logistics partner in Africa by connecting trade flows into and out of Africa,” bin Sulayem said.

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“FMCG boasts unmatched route-to-market solutions in Nigeria and also offers strategic value to DP World from a supply chain and fintech perspective. This is in line with our strategic objective of leveraging assets and logistics to create an integrated global supply chain – from factory floor to customer door.”

Mohammed Akoojee, Chief Operating Officer of DP World Logistics and Group CEO at Imperial, said that by leveraging its business legacy built through the Chanrai Group of Companies for over 130 years, AFMCG has developed longstanding relationships with multinational FMCG companies, established itself as a leading player in the Nigerian consumer market, and demonstrated good corporate citizenship through its broad-based social impact initiatives.

“Being one of the largest economies on the African continent, with attractive demographic and macroeconomic fundamentals, Nigeria boasts a significant consumer market and AFMCG presents an ideal opportunity with the necessary scale for us to leverage to sell truly pan-African solutions to our principals and clients,” Akoojee said.

Subodh Chanrai, Chairman of AFMCG, said the strategic transaction further enhances AFMCG’s foothold in this significant market, which “allows us to offer further benefit to our principals and keep pace with the evolving needs of the African consumer.”

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WTO LATEST: Cabo Verde Prime Minister José Ulisses Correia e Silva welcomed at WTO

WTO DG Okonjo-Iweala welcomes Cabo Verde Prime Minister H E José Ulisses Correia e Silva to WTO, in Africa Ports & Ships
WTO DG Okonjo-Iweala welcomes Cabo Verde Prime Minister H E José Ulisses Correia e Silva to WTO

World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala welcomed Cabo Verde’s Prime Minister, José Ulisses Correia e Silva, to the WTO HQ in Geneva on 14 July.

They discussed the outcomes of the 12th Ministerial Conference, including a landmark agreement to curb harmful fisheries subsidies, and the way forward for implementing the TRIPS (the intellectual property waiver decision for Covid-19 vaccine patents.

For more SEE HERE

The Prime Minister outlined some of the particular needs of Cabo Verde and expressed an interest in collaborating with the WTO in areas such as the blue economy, food security, digital economy and climate change.

DG Okonjo-Iweala thanked Prime Minister Correia e Silva for his interest in the work of the WTO. “It is very impressive what Cabo Verde is doing,” she said. “Even though the economy contracted severely in 2020, they have rebounded strongly.

“They are doing the right kind of reforms. They are turning green, trying to do more green growth, which is wonderful. They are trying to integrate with the rest of the continent. They are trying to go digital, which is good for an island economy. I am very grateful to His Excellency for a good meeting.”

Mr Correia e Silva said it was a pleasure to meet the Director-General and to pay tribute to her strong leadership, especially during the Ministerial Conference. “We are a small economy. We need global markets and African markets to make our economy develop. Trade is an important area for all economies and especially for small island states,” he said.

Cabo Verde became a WTO member on 23 July 2008.

Paul Ridgway, Lonidon corresondent at Africa Ports & Ships

Edited by Paul Ridgway

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TRADE NEWS: Choosing noise-free marine bearings

an ocean of noise could be greatly reduced if……

The choice of bearing material is important for those who are concerned with the environmental impact of human activities in marine environments

An ocean of noise could be greatly reduced if more ship owners opted for noise-free marine bearings.

This is according to Vesconite Bearings, which is promoting its bearings materials as ones that exhibit low squeal, vibration and noise because of their low friction, small clearances and no slip stick.

Vesconite bearing materials have unusually low co-efficients of friction so there is little squeal when using Vesconite since:-

•Vesconite has a co-efficient of friction of 0.12 – 0.15 running dry on stainless steel;
•Vesconite Hilube has a co-efficient of friction of 0.08 – 0.12 running dry on stainless steel; and
•Vesconite Superlube has a co-efficient of friction of 0.05 – 0.08 running dry on stainless steel

Read the rest of this report in the TRADE NEWS section available by


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African countries’ export diversification: UNCTAD urges rethink


African countries’ export diversification: UNCTAD urges rethink In Africa Ports & Ships
African countries’ export diversification: UNCTAD urges rethink

African countries must diversify their exports to survive economic shocks from global crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, said the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). This point was made clear in a media briefing by the Geneva-based UNCTAD, part of the UN Secretariat with 195 Member States.

In its Economic Development in Africa Report 2022 published on 14 July, UNCTAD says African countries can diversify their economies through boosting exports of high-value services, expanding private businesses’ access to financial services, tapping into new financial technologies and implementing effective policies.

Readers may download the Report HERE

Despite decades-long efforts to diversify, 45 out of the continent’s 54 countries remain dependent on exports of primary products in the agricultural, mining, and extractive industries.

UNCTAD considers a country to be dependent on commodities when these products make up more than 60% of its total merchandise exports. The report outlines how African countries can rethink efforts to diversify their economies.

“Dependence on commodity exports has left African economies vulnerable to global shocks and hindered inclusive development for far too long,” says UNCTAD Secretary-General, Rebecca Grynspan.

African potential

Grynspan says Africa has enormous potential to break commodity dependence and ensure its effective integration into high-end global value chains.

“By addressing barriers to trade in services, boosting relevant skills and improving access to innovative alternative financing, the region’s manufacturing productivity can be enhanced, driving Africa’s economic growth and structural transformation for many years to come.”

UNCTAD indicated that high knowledge-intensive services, such as information technology and financial services, could be a game-changer for Africa yet they account for only 20% of the continent’s services exports, leaving immense room for growth.

UNCTAD banner in Africa Ports & Ships

Low trade in services

Africa’s services sector is dominated by low-value-added transactions, making it unable to support productive activities for industry, manufacturing, and agriculture sectors.

Trade in services is also low in Africa. Between 2005 and 2019, services made up only 17% of the continent’s exports. Travel and transport accounted for about two thirds, representing a high concentration of traditional service sectors.

High knowledge input essential

To change its fortunes, UNCTAD said the continent should promote the use of high knowledge- and technology-intensive inputs to enable the manufacture and export of more complex goods and services rather than primary commodities.

Economic Development in Africa Report 2022 says technologies and smart services such as blockchain can improve access to diverse and competitive markets both within and outside the continent. More trade in services can also reduce the environmental degradation caused by the exploitation of natural resources.

Private sector’s critical role

The report also underscores the critical role of the private sector – both formal and informal – in diversifying and transforming Africa’s economies. This includes small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which account for about 90% of firms on the continent and employ around 60% of its workforce.

Africa has about 50 million formal SMEs, which can help diversify the continent’s exports, but they have an unmet financing need of $416 billion every year, according to the International Finance Corporation.


Finally, the African Continental Free Trade Area, which aims to create a single market for the continent’s 1.4 billion people, can also boost export diversification, the report says.

UNCTAD warns that global economic shocks, climate change and other challenges could undermine Africa’s export diversification efforts if countries do not put in place the right policies, regulations and boost institutional capacities.

As the world faces a cost-of-living crisis, 58 million people living just above the poverty line in Africa are at risk of sliding into poverty due to the combined effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, according to a recent report of the Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance.

This Group was introduced by UNCTAD in April last. For more on it SEE HERE

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Reported by Paul Ridgway

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SADC extends SAMIM mandate in northern Mozambique

Coral Sul, the Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) vessel owned and operated by the consortium headed by Eni, which is on station offshore of Cabo Delgado province and now producing LNG for export. in Africa Ports & Ships
Coral Sul, the Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) vessel owned and operated by the consortium headed by Eni, which is now on station offshore of Cabo Delgado province and producing LNG for export.   Eni

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) mandate of the Military Mission to Mozambique (SAMIM), in support of Mozambican military and people of northern Mozambique – Cabo Delgado province in particular but also in Niassa province, has been extended for a further period, it has been announced.

The SAMIM mandate has been in existence since July 2021.

SADC armed forces

SADC forces together with a strong military presence from Rwanda (acting independently of the SADC presence), are acting in support of Mozambican army units in attempting to suppress militant Islamic terrorist groups that are active in the northern regions of Mozambique.

Despite some early successes by the government forces, in particular by those of the Rwandan army, which is not a part of SADC, the insurgents have displayed resilience by dispersing and then reforming elsewhere to attack villages and outposts further afield.

More than 2,500 people are reported killed by terrorist action and some 850,000 others have been forced to flee their homes.

The coastal regions including the ‘port’ towns of Mocimboa da Praia and Palma, have been secured after early insurgent successes, and are back under the control of the Mozambique government.

Mandate extension

The extension of the SAMIM mandate, involving soldiers from South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia, working in collaboration with the Forças Armadas de Defesa de Moçambique (FADM), will remain in Mozambique until a final decision is taken on its mandate, which will be taken at the summit of the SADC troika, scheduled for August in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“By doing this, we demonstrate that when it comes to security and peace, the SADC family stands together and will never back down or give up,” said Malawian president Lazarus Chakwera.

“I am sure that we will continue to have more detailed deliberations on this matter during our Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Governments to be held in the Democratic Republic of Congo, next month.”

The actions of the Islamic forces acting against the Mozambique government have prevented companies like French TotalEnergies in continuing with the construction of a gas liquefaction plant near Palma, with associated companies also having had to withdraw at least temporarily from the region and project.

The only exception is the consortium headed by Italy’s Eni which elected to install an offshore FLNG vessel 40kms offshore and on site of the Rovuma Basin Area 4 block on which it holds a concession, and which is now pumping gas.

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President Ramaphosa declares Special Official Funeral Category 2 for Ambassador Duarte

President Ramaphosa will deliver the eulogy at the funeral this afternoon

Health Cluster pivots cross-cluster collaboration for delivery of integrated service package among underserved communities

Health Cluster partners have so far benefited from 2 rounds of Somalia Humanitarian Fund allocations, that amounted to approximately US $9 million to respond to the drought

South Sudan: African Development Bank grants $8.1 million to support food production

The grant constitutes additional financing to the ongoing Agricultural Markets, Value Addition and Trade Development Project (AMVAT)

Kenya: African Development Bank approves $150 million for Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit Highway Project

The existing 175km A8 road from Rironi to Mau Summit will be transformed into a four-lane carriageway

End of Working Visit by the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

During the visit, the IMF delegation held high level meetings with stakeholders and discussed possible support for Ghana’s domestic economic recovery programme

Distributed by APO Group

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Port Louis – Indian Ocean gateway port

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