Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 10 June 2023

Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002

For a Rate Card please contact us at


Week commencing 5 June 2023.  Click on headline to go direct to story : use the BACK key to return 

Pages viewed in the previous week Sunday to Saturday: 54,277  Page views this Sunday 8,549;  on Monday 13,186; Tuesday 8,441; Wednesday 7,721; Thursday 9,620; 

FIRST VIEW:  Port of Richards Bay  & Nord Mississippi


Stay Well, Stay Safe, Stay Patient, don’t become one

Advertising:– request a Rate Card from

For a free daily newsletter via email?  Send your email marked NEWSLETTER to 

Ukraine flag in Africa Ports & Ships Ukraine flag in Africa Ports & Ships

Join us as we continue to report through 2023

and stay up to date with Africa Ports & Ships  (reporting since 2002).  



FIRST VIEW:  Port of Richards Bay & Nord Mississippi

Nord Mississippi in the port of Richards Bay. Picture: TNPA

A typical scene at the Zululand port of Richards Bay, with a mid-size bulk carrier NORD MISSISSIPPI (IMO 9725457) receiving her cargo at one of the bulk terminals. The TNPA recently revealed plans for this port which includes the addition of several new berths to accommodate the increasing number of ships expected to call.

No longer should Richards Bay be thought of as purely a coal port. In fact, as coal exports come under strain as a result of the inability of rail to deliver required volumes of coal for export, so bulk exports of other commodities are showing signs of a steady increase. Ironically, this includes the export of coal which is in addition to that handled at the nearby Richards Bay Coal Terminal.

The Ultramax 60,456-dwt Nord Mississippi has a length of 200 metres and width of 32m and was built in 2015. Her owners and ship and commercial managers are Triton Navigation BV of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. Nord Mississippi flies the flag of Panama.

This picture provided courtesy of TNPA Richards Bay


News continues below

Tema Port Expansion Project, Phase Two set to roll out

MPS Terminal 3, Phase 2 expansion project ready to be rolled out  MPS

Meridian Port Services Ltd (MPS) is preparing to roll out Phase 2 of the Tema Port Expansion Project, marking another significant milestone in the project’s development.

The expansion project aims to enhance the capacity and infrastructure of the Tema Port to meet the growing demands of trade and connectivity.

MPS said this week it has finalised the necessary arrangements to commence Phase 2, which involves significant civil works and construction activities. The project will be executed in collaboration with EIFFAGE Génie Civil Marine SA and De Simone Ltd, both well respected companies with extensive experience in delivering top-quality infrastructure solutions.

The selection of EIFFAGE Génie Civil Marine SA and De Simone Ltd for this phase builds upon their successful completion of Phase 1 and the pavement works for the 4th Berth of the Tema Port Expansion Project. Their expertise and value provided in previous projects were key factors in their appointment for Phase 2.

The focus of Phase 2 is on paving a substantial area measuring 270,000 square metres, utilizing 14 million pavement blocks of the highest industry standards. This meticulous paving effort ensures the necessary stability required to accommodate heavy cranes operating within the area.

In addition, the project includes the installation of 16 km of cable conduits and 5.5 km of drainage pipes, supporting the operational yard and expanding the terminal’s holding capacity from 80 hectares to 120 hectares.

The project will be executed under a FIDIC Yellow Book (design and build) Lump Sum Contract. It is scheduled to commence on Monday, 19 June 2023, and is expected to be completed by September 2025.

Mohamed Samara, Meridian Port Services Ltd CEO, highlighted MPS’s intention of realizing its vision of providing Ghana and West Africa with a cutting-edge trade connectivity platform.

“To meet the future trade facilitation needs, establishing efficient and robust infrastructure is paramount. The Tema Port Expansion Project plays a pivotal role in creating a dedicated maritime gateway and hub in the West African region. We firmly believe that Ghana’s Tema Port is exceptionally positioned to fulfil this mission,” he said.

In alignment with its Corporate Social Initiatives objectives and inspired by the launch of the 2023 Green Ghana Day, MPS plans to collaborate with the construction companies to undertake a phased tree planting exercise. This initiative aims to plant 1000 trees along the beach and within the terminal, contributing to environmental sustainability.

Samara said MPS recognizes that regional connectivity plays a crucial role in facilitating trade, enhancing regional integration, and fostering socio-economic development.

“As such, we will actively explore opportunities to partner with neighbouring countries to develop cross-trade routes, enabling seamless movement of goods, services, and people.”

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 9 June 2023


News continues below


Allied Atlantic convoy. Picture: Pen and Sword

Churchill’s Atlantic Convoys: Tenacity & Sacrifice

By William Smith

published by Pen & Sword Maritime of Barnsley, UK.
280 pages with 40 mono illustrations, price £17.50.
ISBN: 978 1 39905 097 5.

Britain depended on vital supplies from North America and the Empire in the Second World War. These supplies were vital for the nation and as preparations for the Allied landings in North Africa and the invasion of Europe. Cargoes were convoyed in merchant ships across the Atlantic where they were attacked by German submarines, aircraft and warships.

Military cargoes and troops for the North African theatre had to be shipped by way of the lengthy Cape route to Suez before the Axis forces had been cleared from North Africa in May 1943 and the Mediterranean made safer.

Without doubt the cost of the Battle of the Atlantic was extremely high as by May 1945, in the Atlantic alone, over 2,200 British and Allied merchant ships had been sunk, totalling in excess of 13 million gross tons. One hundred warships and 600 RAF Coastal Command aircraft were also lost. With the merchant ship losses it was estimated that more than 30,000 merchant seamen died with thousands from Allied navies and air forces. By way of example P&O lost 75 ships in the Atlantic.

More than 800 U-boats were operational in the Atlantic and of these two out of three were lost, mostly to allied aircraft and escort vessels between 1943 and 1945. An estimated 18,000 U-boat crew died in action.

As a battle it was felt from the day war broke out, 3 September 1939, to Victory in Europe Day, otherwise known as V-E Day, 8 May 1945. This was the longest continuous campaign of the war. Across the North Atlantic, British, American and Canadian navies divided the work of convoy protection.

Last month there was a Battle of the Atlantic 80th anniversary commemoration in Liverpool relative to May 1943. That month was the turning point when, for the first time, more German U-boats were lost than Allied merchant ships.

At the same time there was an increasingly sophisticated range of depth charge weapons made available and scientists had developed Asdic to detect the position of a submerged U-boat. Radar was improved, more escort carriers were available and long-range patrol aircraft had an effect with close coordination between air and naval forces accompanied by good intelligence from intercepted signals. There was also a massive shipbuilding programme underway in North America to replace wartime losses. Capture of the German Enigma encrypting machine enabled the Allies to learn more of their adversary.

As this splendidly researched book reveals, the Nazi U-boat fleet was relatively small and unprepared for war in 1939. By early 1941 its numbers and effectiveness had increasing to the point that Hitler was able to declare “our warfare at sea is just beginning.” Prime Minister Churchill’s response was to issue his famous ‘Battle of the Atlantic’ Directive.

Churchill’s Atlantic Convoys describes the political, strategic and tactical ebb and flow of events, particularly over 1942 and 1943. Thanks to increased numbers and scientific innovations the Allies slowly gained the upper hand despite a determined German fight back in late 1943 and early 1944. The U-boat threat was never wholly defeated. Tenacity and sacrifices of Allied naval forces, to which must be added the merchant ships some of which had defensive armament, others were liners converted as armed merchant cruisers, deserves recording. By human endurance, discipline, and seamanship of their crews they won the day and should never be forgotten. William Smith’s book here goes a long way to keep the flame of remembrance in our minds.

It would not be until 7 June 1945 that Churchill and President Truman felt able to assert “the Allies have finished the job.”

Pen & Sword

For more information of Pen and Sword’s titles readers are invited to see here:

Reviewed by Paul Ridgway

London Correspondent
Africa Ports & Ships

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 9 June 2023


News continues below

Angola’s Sonangol signs with China’s CNCEC to build Benguela refinery

Sonangol – Angola’s state-owned oil company   Sonangol

Angola’s state-owned oil company Sonangol, and China National Chemical Engineering (CNCEC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the construction of the Lobito Refinery in Benguela.

The document was signed by the Chairman of the Sonangol Board of Directors, Gaspar Martins, at an event witnessed by the Minister of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas, Diamantino Azevedo, and other executives of the sector.

The planned refinery will have a capacity to process 200,000 barrels of oil a day and will be able to supply the domestic market and other countries of the SADC region. This will become Angola’s largest refinery once completed.

The Lobito Refinery will incorporate state-of-the-art technology to produce Jet A1, diesel, gasoline, LPG and other products.

Sonangol has several other projects in hand that aim to increase the country’s refining capacity in order to promote self-sufficiency and have the ability to export excess capacity to regional markets.

The Cabinda Refinery, with a capacity of 60,000 barrels a day, enters the first phase of completion later this year and will supply the local and regional market, covering countries such as Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The second phase of this project ends in 2025. Sonangol holds 10% and GEMCORP 90% in terms of corporate structure.

In the Soyo refinery, Zaire province, Sonangol also holds 10% of the corporate structure, while Quanten appears with 90%.

The Soyo refinery, with a capacity of 100,000 barrels a day, will supply the local market after completing construction in 2025.

Currently, the 65,000 barrels a day Luanda Refinery is in full operation. source: ANGOP

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 9 June 2023


News continues below

Progress on double-tracking the Maputo-Ressano Garcia rail line

Construction involving the doubling of the railway tracks between Maputo/Matola and the South African border at Ressano Garcia, is underway.

The current section is that from Matola to Secogene in Maputo province, a distance of 50kms will be completed this September, according to the latest report.

Agostinho Langa Júnior, chairman of the Board of Directors of CFM, the state-owned rail and port company, travelled along the section earlier in June to inspect progress and the quality of the work, which is costing an estimated USD 82 million.

This is being financed from of CFM’s own funds.

In a Notícias newspaper report this week, Langa said his evaluation of the quality of work and progress made is positive for the present.

“The great concern was to be sure that the work is being done with quality and above all that the deadlines will be met and, from what we have seen, we believe that by the middle or end of September we will have the work, on both the bridges and the lines, concluded,” Langa said.

He added that although the work is only 52% complete at this stage, he remained confident that the deadline will be met. “It is now the dry season and there will be no major interruptions.”

Langa said the doubling of the line will increase the capacity of the railroad and will ensure greater security in the circulation of trains.

Once the doubling of the line to the South African border is complete, the Ressano garcia line will have the capacity to carry 24 million tonnes of cargo each year, compared with the current 13 million tonnes.

The construction of the second rail has necessitated the construction of four new bridges.

Goba Railway

On completion of his inspection of the Ressano double-section, Langa conducted a survey of the Goba line, which runs from Maputo to the Eswatini border at Goba.

He clarified however, that there are no plans involving major works on the Goba railway. “We will guarantee routine maintenance, especially at points that are presenting some defects,” he said. source: AIM

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 9 June 2023


News continues below

IATA: Focus Africa – Strengthening aviation’s economic contribution on the continent

Poppy Khoza, Director of Civil Aviation, South African Civil Aviation Authority, Inspirational Role Model winner at the IATA AGM 2023, 5 June 2023, Istanbul. Picture: Natalia Mroz/IATA

Edited by Paul Ridgway

The International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Focus Africa drive is gaining momentum, spurred on by the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) and the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) as its newest partners.

This was reported by IATA at its AGM in Istanbul this week.

Contributing to the African economy

Focus Africa will strengthen aviation’s contribution to Africa’s economic and social development and improve connectivity, safety and reliability for passengers and shippers. It will see private and public stakeholders deliver measurable progress in six critical areas: safety, infrastructure, connectivity, finance and distribution, sustainability and skills development.

Willie Walsh, Director General, IATA, at the IATA AGM 2023, 5 June 2023, Istanbul. Picture: Natalia Mroz/IATA

In the words of Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General: “Focus Africa is all about establishing a coalition of partners committing to pool their resources and delivering a set of African air transport solutions that let the continent, its people and economies play a greater, more meaningful and representative role in the global economy.

“The combined contributions of AFCAC and AASA will be critical to Focus Africa’s success. Africa accounts for 18% of the global population but less than 3% of global GDP and just 2.1% of air passenger and cargo transport activity. With the right interventions those gaps will be closed, and Africa will benefit from the connectivity, jobs and growth that aviation enables.”

The view from AFCAC…

AFCAC Secretary-General, Adefunke Adeyemi, added: “The ability to access, serve and develop intra-African markets is crucial as the continent’s populace is set to increase by over a billion people by 2050. For this to be sustainable, economic opportunities must be created.

Yvonne Manzi Makolo, CEO RwandAir and Chair, IATA Board of Governors, speaking at the Opening Session, IATA AGM 2023, 5 June 2023, Istanbul. Picture: Natalia Mroz/ IATA

“As other regions have demonstrated, air transport connectivity unlocks broad prosperity. As the African Union’s civil aviation agency, we will support Focus Africa through our work developing a set of harmonized rules and regulations designed to make this connectivity a reality and drive our strategic objectives.”

…and AASA

“Time is not on our side as AASA’s members and the communities they serve face rising costs, unprecedented unemployment, obsolete constraints on trade and market access, inadequate infrastructure and a looming skills shortage. These demand urgent action, so we do not get stranded on the runway. It is why we have no hesitation standing with IATA and other Focus Africa partners,” added AASA CEO, Aaron Munetsi.

IATA Focus Africa Conference

Leaders and decision-makers from airlines, airports, air navigation services, government agencies, aircraft manufacturers, industry suppliers and other stakeholders will convene at the IATA Focus Africa Conference, hosted by Ethiopian Airlines, in Addis Ababa on 20-21 June, to address the six priority task areas in detail.

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 9 June 2023


News continues below

Kongsberg to design & equip two 200BP salvage tugs for Suez Canal Authority

Kongsberg 71.6-metre 722-class salvage tug, similar to those to be built by the Alexandria Shipyard  Kongsberg

Kongsberg Maritime has been awarded a contract for the design and equipment for two powerful 200-tonne bollard pull salvage tugs for the Suez Canal Authority (SCA).

The tugs will be based on Kongsberg Maritime’s UT722CDT design. The main contractor for the tugs will be the Alexandria Shipyard in Egypt.

Tugs built to the UT722 design have a length of 71.6 metres and are able to operate independently for up to 35 days.

Alexandria Shipyard successfully bid on this contract in conjunction with Kongsberg Maritime, which will provide technical support including vessel design, main equipment deliveries, maintenance systems, and crew training.

The tugs are due for completion in 2025 and 2026.

“The Suez Canal Authority’s tendering process for these tugs has been going for a long time, and a large number of designers, suppliers and shipyards have been involved in this international competition,” said Jørn Heltne, Kongsberg Maritime Vice President for Sales and Contracts.

“The Authority recognises the need for increased salvage capacity at the canal, which sees about 70 vessels transit each day and is responsible for about 12% of global trade by volume.”

Heltne said the equipment and systems that Kongsberg will be providing will ensure the tugs have trustworthy and precise handling and control, as well as the muscle needed to keep the Suez Canal open.

The Suez Canal, where the need for more powerful and efficient tugs is becoming more apparent.  SCA

The integrated equipment for each tug includes Kongsberg Promas propulsion systems with Twin-In-Single-Out Reduction Gears, Kongsberg bow and stern tunnel thrusters, propulsion control systems, joystick control systems, integrated bridge control systems, power electric systems including switchboards, dynamic positioning, passive stabilisation systems, deck machinery, and K-Fleet maintenance software systems.

Rear Admiral Hossam El-Din Ezzat Kotb, Chairman of Alexandria Shipyard, said the new tugs will be key to ensuring the future reliability of the canal for international shippers.

“We look forward to working with Kongsberg Maritime to build the world’s most important tugboats,” he said.

Alexandria Shipyard is one of the largest in Africa and the Middle East, with enormous capacity for building all vessel types, including tugboats.

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 9 June 2023


News continues below

Xeneta Container Update: Panama Canal delays bigger vessels amid fluctuating rates

MOL container ship   MOL

A lack of seasonal rainfall in the Panama Canal region between February and April could leave carriers high and dry, with further draft restrictions set to take hold, Xeneta’s Peter Sand reports in the latest weekly update.

Precipitation during the period was less than half of normal levels, with some welcome rainfall arriving in late May.

With El Niño forecast to return in 2023/2024, making the region warmer and dryer, the pressure is well and truly on for this vital link between the Pacific and Atlantic basins. The North Europe to South America West Coast corridor, dependent on the Panama Canal, has seen turbulent fluctuations during the pandemic years, impacting shipping volumes and freight rates.

Feeling the draft

The Panama Canal Authority has already lowered draft restrictions several times in 2023, with the most recent announcement, on 29 May, only postponing the next cut by two weeks. Every cut means less cargo can be carried by ships transiting the Neopanamax locks.

Peter Sanda, Xeneta’s chief analyst

Inaugurated in June 2016, the Neopanamax locks made it possible for containerships more than double the size of earlier vessels to bring cargo from Asia to the US East Coast, Europe to the South America West Coast, the US Gulf Coast to the Far East, and across many more inter-regional trades.

With a normal draft maximum of 50 feet (15.24m), the current permitted draft of 44.5 feet (13.56m) is already impacting business. The new draft limit of 43.5 feet, valid from 25 June, will take this, quite literally, to a new level.

With a total of 285 Neopanamax ships transiting the Panama Canal in April alone, half of which were containerships, each incremental cut has significant volume ramifications.

Down but not out

A trade that has really experienced the ‘high and low tides’ during the Covid-years – and one that relies on an efficient Panama Canal transit – is the North Europe to South America West Coast corridor. Volatility has been the order of the day here, with everything from shipped volumes to short-term and long-term contract freight rate levels in a state of near-constant flux.

Short-term rates on the trade peaked at USD 7,707 per FEU exactly one year ago and have since fallen to USD 3,500 per FEU. Although the 55% drop is welcome news to shippers, it’s somewhat cold comfort when the rate remains some 2,000 dollars higher than the 2020 average.

Delayed developments

Xeneta data shows the same is true for long-term rates. Prices have fallen by around a third since the peak levels seen from April through to November 2022. However, long-term contracts signed within the most recent three-month period are still just shy of USD 3,800 per FEU.

In this respect, the decline in rates on this trade is somewhat detached from the trend experienced by larger trades, which have fallen further and more dramatically.

Why is this? Every year around 250,000 TEU is shipped from North Europe to the South America West Coast (source: CTS). It may just be a fact of life that container rate movements trickle down slowly from the largest trade lanes to the smaller ones, with a delay in developments as carriers update and revise their global container shipping networks to adapt to the ‘next normal’ market conditions.

Size matters

As ships become ever larger, and carriers reap economies of scale by deploying them across trades, the ports that can handle more container lifts per call, with optimal efficiency, find favor.

This well-established trend for imports from the Far East on the South American East Coast is now developing for containerized goods coming from North Europe to the continent’s West Coast.

While the nature of the trend is the same, the spread between spot container rates into secondary (sub) and primary (main) container ports is more volatile on the West Coast, jumping to USD 1,300 per FEU in November 2022.

At this point, the corrective downfall was most pronounced into the primary ports. Xeneta’s data indicates that the normal spread is USD 300 per FEU. In May 2023, the spread has hovered at around USD 400 per FEU, clearly indicating that a normalized market remains some way off.

Small changes, big impact?

With the ongoing tightening of draft restrictions in the Panama Canal, smaller ships may return to favour with the carriers, as they find themselves unable to utilize the full capacity of larger vessels.

This puts upward pressure on short-term market rates and may prompt shippers to alter their supply chains if port calls also change in line with the ship sizes.

Watch this space for more insights on this dynamic trade, and much, much more.

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 8 June 2023


News continues below

Sailors’ Society on hand to welcome crew of Heroic Idun

Heroic Idun. Picture: Mark Wen / VesselFinder

Readers will recall the report of the release of the tanker HEROIC IDUN by the Nigerian authorities, following about 10 months of detention by the West Africa country on suspicion of oil theft. SEE REPORT HERE

Members of the Sailors’ Society’s global Crisis Response Network (CRN), involving chaplains from Durban and Cape Town, will visit and greet the 26 crew of the MT Heroic Idun after supporting them and their families through a 10-month detention by Nigerian authorities.

The CRN team will be available for three days to offer pastoral and psychosocial support, as needed, and to help prepare them to be reunited with their families after this ordeal.

The crew of 16 Indians, eight Sri Lankans, one Polish and one Filipino national are due to arrive in port today (8 June) and will be staying in a local hotel while they wait for flights to take them home.

The international maritime charity has been in contact with the crew since they were first detained in August 2022, after the crew was accused of attempted oil theft and faking a piracy attack.

“Our Crisis Response Network is a highly effective global response programme which has been operating for more than five years,” a spokesperson for the Sailors’ Society said. “It provides 24/7 care and support to seafarers, their families and shipping companies following critical incidents such as this.

“In this case, both officers and crew were in touch with us over the phone and asked us for help. We were happy to listen and support them.

“They particularly wanted us to support their families back in India until they were released and this became crucial when their phones were confiscated by the Nigerian authorities.

“We have been supporting the families in the Kochin, Mumbai and Bhubaneshwar areas of India for the past 10 months.”

Among those awaiting the return of their husbands, sons, brothers and fathers is Stephania who should have celebrated her fourth birthday back in November.

“Stephania insisted she wouldn’t celebrate her birthday until her dad returned home. At four years old, she couldn’t understand why he wasn’t home sooner to be with her. But now both father and daughter can’t wait to be reunited.”

Sailors’ Society CRN team supported the families through the postponement of several trial dates and were on hand when the news finally arrived that the crew and their vessel had been released. They are now preparing the families for the crew members’ return – and the support won’t stop there, the Society says.

“As any kind of unresolved psychological distress is likely to surface within a few weeks of returning home, our team will be offering follow-ups with the crew and their families,” the spokesperson explained.

The CRN, funded by The Seafarers’ Charity, TK Foundation and UKP&I, responds to crises every month, with piracy and medical incidents (including those as a result of an injury) being the main issues.

For more information on the Crisis Response Network go to

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 8 June 2023


IMO in Togo: Boosting maritime security in Togo

Picture: IMO

Edited by Paul Ridgway

According to the IMO news service on 5 June the strengthening of port security in Togo was the focus of a training workshop in Lomé, Togo held from 29 May to 2 June.


It was reported that the event brought together 24 participants, including Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) from various port facilities in Togo as well as representatives of the Designated Authority.


Participants improved their knowledge and skills in developing and implementing port facility security plans (PFSPs) in order to perform their duties in accordance with the relevant provisions of relevant IMO regulations – SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code).

The training provided a solid foundation on oversight roles and responsibilities of Designated Authorities.

It is understood that the workshop stemmed from the recommendations of the security needs assessment mission conducted by IMO’s maritime security team in Togo in 2019.

On 29 May the opening ceremony was attended by HE the Minister of the Maritime Economy, Fishing and Coast Protection, the Technical advisor of the Minister of Safety and Civil Protection, the Secretary General of the Port Autonome de Lomé (PAL) and the Deputy Director of Lomé Container terminal (LCT).

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 8 June 2023


News continues below

Tanker Seavigour blocks the Suez Canal, quickly moved

The crude oil tanker Seavigour, which briefly experienced mechanical problems in the Suez Canal. Picture: Thenamaris

Another ship has disrupted the flow of traffic in the Suez Canal, causing emergency services to go into action to quickly remove the vessel.

This followed two other incidents in recent months involving ships going aground or blocking through one reason or another. With memory of the dramatic six day closure of the canal involving the Ever Given still fresh in mind, Suez Canal Authority is highly conscious of the repercussions of another long stoppage.
<p|?> The latest blockage involved a Greek crude oil tanker named SEAVIGOUR (IMO 9774185), flagged in Malta, which experienced engine problems while engaged in a southbound convoy from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.

Shortly after commencing the transit the 158,566-dwt Seavigour, managed by Greece’s Thenamaris Group, suffered an engine stoppage.

The SCA immediately dispatched three tugs to assist. At this stage, the 12km mark, the canal is a single lane section and the stoppage impacted another eight vessels following in the convoy.

Ships in a northbound convoy were not immediately prevented from proceeding north but were later to be held in the Great Lake until traffic was able to continue.

When Seavigour began to experience engine troubles, her anchor was dropped – an action that later delayed the tow while the tanker crew battled to raise anchor.

Once this had been accomplished and the tow got underway, the three tugs positioned Seavigour near the 17km mark which is a position where the canal is wide enough for other vessels to pass in safety. The delay was fairly short so the impact was minimal.

During the day about 60 vessels made the transit through the canal.

About two weeks ago a Chinese bulk carrier, Xin Hai Tong 23, grounded temporarily in the southern portion of the canal, while in March the containership, MSC Istanbul, experienced mechanical trouble also in the southern section. In January a bulk carrier, Glory, also experienced a mechanical problem early in the transit from the north.

The SCA maintains a fleet of powerful tugs for such eventualities.

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 8 June 2023


News continues below

Tanzania’s SGR set to roll, with first trial in July

Tanzania intends staging the first trials of its emerging Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) next month, following delays from the Canadian manufacturer of loco spares.

It was intended to run the first trials in May between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro, a distance of 300km.

Instead, Government Chief Spokesperson Gerson Msigwa explained this had not been possible due to “the difficulties the locomotive manufacturer experienced such as receiving spare parts from Canada.”

This was said to be a result of the war between Ukraine and Russia together with the global economic crisis arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, railway wagons built in South Korea have begun to arrive in Dar es Salaam, with 59 wagons in place and another 45 on their way.

Six of the fleet of 30 locomotives were now expected from Germany early in June of which two will be used in the trials.

Tanzania is building a standard gauge railway of 1,219km to replace the metre gauge railway currently in use. Much of this will follow the metre gauge route. This will connect the port city of Dar es Salaam with Mwanza on Lake Victoria and likewise to Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika.

A few weeks ago the status of construction, which is taking place in stages and involving different contractors, is as follows:

Work on the 300km Dar es Salaam-Morogoro section was 98.14% complete. On the 422km Morogoro-Makutupora section it has reached 93.88% completion, the 368km Makutupora-Tabora section has only reached the 7% mark, while the 165km Tabora-Isaka section has also only recently got under and is now at 2.39% completion. The final section of work contracted out is the 341km section from Isaka-Mwanza which has reached 31.07% completion.

That’s Phase 1 of the project. Phase 2 involves a 506km section between Tabora and Kigoma which the government intends proceeding with to link Dar es Salaam with the Lake Tanganyika port at Kigoma and therefore lakeside traffic with the Eastern DRC.

Reports say contracts for this phase have been signed and the contractor is busy mobilising for the project.

On top of this, Tanzania is anxious to fast-track the development of new sections from Kigoma to Burundi while talks remain underway of a connection continuing to Rwanda and Uganda.

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 8 June 2023


News continues below

Port of Durban launches new 16-berth tug basin

The new tug jetty 2,, adjacent to the now lengthened jetty No.1  Picture TNPA  

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has completed the construction of a new tug jetty and the lengthening of another for the Port of Durban, which will enable quicker turnaround time for larger vessels that require additional tugs.

The construction was initiated in line with the KwaZulu-Natal Port Master Plan, a programme that is set to position the Durban port as an international container hub.

The completion of the project means the draft limitations and berthing space constraints have been eliminated – the port will now have sufficient berthing space for its marine craft and will be able to consolidate the berthing of fleet. This will increase operational efficiencies.

Until now tugs have been distributed in various places around the port. Any urgent need for an additional vessel could involve a long drive around Durban Bay just to access the required vessel.

In future all available tugs and other craft will be able to make use of the new tug basin, situated near R Berth.

“The completion of the tug jetty project is a great milestone for the Port of Durban,” said Durban port manager, said Mpumi Dweba–Kwetana.

She said the port now has a complement of 18 marine fleet which includes tugs, launches, pilot boats, a floating crane and a work boat.

“The older jetty could only accommodate 13 marine vessels, and the balance of the fleet was required to be berthed in other areas within the port. The new jetty makes the marine craft easily available to operations.”

The engineering team, plus one harbour master  Picture TNPA  

The R127m construction project commenced in May 2021 and was implemented in two segments.

The first segment included the establishment of a new 110m tug jetty adjacent and parallel to the existing jetty. The second segment comprise the extension of the original tug jetty by 35m.

The existing tug basin was deepened to 8 metres to safely accommodate all tug vessels.

The provision of efficient marine services is one of TNPA’s core service offerings to the shipping industry. These services include providing towage, docking, and/or undocking services to vessels calling at and leaving the port.

The efficiency of this service is dependent on having a reliable marine fleet of tugs, with infrastructure that is fit for purpose and capable of delivering an agreed-upon service level to a wide range of vessels.

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 7 June 2023


News continues below

Workshop on extreme wind disruption in the port of Cape Town

Cape Town’s notorious South-Easter even has its own name – the ‘Cape Doctor’    Picture TNPA  

A consultation workshop to examine and explore the causes, impacts, trends and solutions regarding extreme wind disruption at the port of Cape Town is to be held on Thursday, 13 June 2023.

A team of researchers is co-operating with Transnet National Ports Authority to study and address the problem of extreme wind disruption of port operations in the Port of Cape Town. As is well-known among the maritime industry, especially in the Western Cape, strong and extreme winds result in significant disruptions in the port.

This has a knock-on effect on the regional economy. Anecdotally, this problem appears to be worsening with time.

The research work seeks to understand the causes and dynamics of extreme wind and its trends, to understand the impacts on port users and the economy, and to seek solutions to manage the problem now and in the future.

The aim of the workshop is to identify and consult with stakeholders and affected parties and learn about how this wind problem affects, and is likely to affect, industries, businesses and livelihoods.

This will be followed up with individual consultations where required.

How does disruption in Cape Town harbour affect your livelihood?

The workshop on 13 June 2023 (09h00 to 17h00) will be held in the Garden Court Hotel, Woodstock, Cape Town. There is limited space and participation will be restricted accordingly. Attendance virtually is however available by request.

To register for this meeting CLICK HERE

For more information email Dr Neville Sweijd

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 7 June 2023


News continues below

ONE Innovation brings Japanese shipping lines into the BIG league

ONE Innovation at her launching on 2 June 2023.  ONE

Ocean Network Express (ONE) has joined other container lines who have ventured into ultra-large megaships, with the delivery of the 24,000-TEU ONE INNOVATION (IMO 9939137).

The giant ship was delivered at the Kure Shipyard of Japan Marine United Corporation on 2 June 2023.

According to ONE, the new ship, with a total capacity of 24,136 TEU, “will help bring economies of scale and significantly lower carbon emissions through a state-of-the-art hull design that aims to maximize cargo intake and minimize fuel consumption.

“The vessel is equipped with a bow windshield, an energy saving device, and an exhaust gas cleaning system to meet the emission regulations of IMO.

“She is also the first of the six new Megamax vessels to joining ONE’s core fleet.”

ONE Innovation will be deployed on the Asia to Europe (FE3) service, under THE Alliance (THEA).

The port rotation will be:
Ningbo – Xiamen – Kaohsiung – Yantian – Singapore – Rotterdam – Hamburg – Antwerp – Southampton – Algeciras – Singapore – Yantian – Hong Kong – Kaohsiung – Ningbo

By introducing the mega ship, together with other five upcoming sister Megamax vessels, ONE targets to offer more competitive and best-in-class services to customers with decreased environmental impact, the company said.

“ONE Innovation is the largest vessel in our fleet, and we are proud to have it as our flagship. This newly built vessel will help us pave the way for the sustainable development of global logistics and respond to customer requests with the world’s No. 1 quality of service,” said Yu Kurimoto, Managing Director of ONE.

“Last year we announced our ‘Green Vision’, which aims to achieve net-zero by 2050. We are actively working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our fleet, and we are confident that this vessel will contribute to this effort and bring innovation to global logistics,” he said.

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 7 June 2023


News continues below

Nigerian Maritime Workers Union strike against shipping lines last-minute suspension

Timely intervention from the Nigerian Shippers Council helps avert port strike

A strike by members of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has been called off almost at the last minute following the intervention of the Nigerian Shippers Council.

A report by the Daily Trend described the strike action as having resulted from a breakdown of negotiations between the union and the Shipping Companies, Agencies & Freight Forwarders Employers Association (SCAFFEA) on Minimum Standard of Condition of Service in the Shipping Industry.

The union has taken issue with the Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN), which represents all shipping lines in Nigeria, which it says has disregarded directives issued by the Federal Government and has failed to improve workers’ welfare for the past six years.

In addition, the union accuses SAN of refusing to implement a minimum standard for shipping company workers.

Had the strike gone ahead it would have included the three other branches of the union – dockworkers, seafarers and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) branch.

Following the announcement of the strike’s suspension, MWUN and the Freight Forwarders Employers Association expressed their commitment for sincere negotiations on the Minimum Standard of Condition of Service in the Industry.

“Parties agreed to a timeline of one month starting from Monday 5th June 2023 to 4th July 2023 for completion of the negotiations.

“Parties to establish an acceptable minimum standards on the condition of service in the shipping industry, especially on gratuity.”

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 7 June 2023


News continues below

Don’t regulate shipping in isolation warns INTERCARGO


Shipping is so global, that only a truly global regulator such as the International Maritime Organization can provide the level playing field needed for this diverse industry and all the nations it serves.

That’s the warning given by INTERCARGO (International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners) as its members met in Dubai.

Yet even the IMO, a United Nations agency, must be careful not to create regulations that put shipping in isolation warns the Association, which represents the world’s dry bulk shipping sector.

“Simply regulating shipping alone will bring distortions and dangers to global trade,” said INTERCARGO chair Dimitris Fafalios. “Ship owners and operators, fuel producers, charterers, cargo owners, shippers and receivers, ports and terminal managers, all share responsibilities in the daily maritime venture that is dry bulk shipping,” he explained.

“Dry bulk shipping, which is already one of the most environmentally friendly bulk transport modes, strongly wants to decarbonise. However, I stress that we cannot do this alone.”

Decarbonisation was at the centre of discussions during INTERCARGO Semi-Annual Meetings held in Dubai held on 25-26 May. Members discussed a number of key industry issues as they relate to the dry bulk sector, including greenhouse gas reduction, fuel lifecycle analysis, the implementation of new international and regional regulations, as well as sharing experience and information.

INTERCARGO stated it fully supports the IMO’s ambition to achieve net zero emission shipping by 2050.

However, it stresses that the responsibility for decarbonisation cannot be placed solely on the shoulders of the ship operator – it is a challenge that must be dealt with holistically by the entire supply chain.

The IMO is currently in the process of revising its Green House Gas (GHG) Strategy. INTERCARGO is an active participant at the IMO and plans to submit a paper to its MEPC 81 (Marine Environment Protect Committee) meeting in 2024 on the effect of idle time (e.g. port waiting), short voyages, and the effect of laden versus ballast voyages ratio on vessels’ Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) ratings.

“It was encouraging to have so many of our membership, which has reached record levels, joining us in Dubai both physically and remotely,” said Secretary General Kostas Gkonis.

“The level of expertise and enthusiasm amongst our members enables us to contribute knowledgeably at the IMO and at numerous other industry fora.”

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 7 June 2023


News continues below

Foreign navy ships pay visits to South Africa

INS Trishul, the Indian Navy frigate which arrived in Durban on Tuesday 6 June. This picture taken on her delivery voyage from Russia on 8 September 2003.  Picture by Terry Hutson

The Portuguese patrol ship NRP SETÚBAL P363 and submarine NRP Arpão (S161) are in Cape Town where they will participate in the commemoration of Portugal Day, that country’s national day which is more correctly held on 10 June.

To coincide with the ships being in port for this occasion, the President of Portugal, has arrived in South Africa for a State Visit.

According to a SABC report, Portugal’s president visits a different country to celebrate the Day of Portugal with the Portuguese Diaspora.

There are approximately 500,000 South Africans of Portuguese descent and about 200,000 Portuguese nationals who reside in SA permanently, serving as an important economic link between the two countries.

It was reported elsewhere that both President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa would visit the ships while they are berthed at the Cruise Terminal in Cape Town’s Duncan Dock.

Full details of NRP Setúbal P363 may be found in Africa Ports & Ships Wharf Talk of 22 May 2023 CLICK HERE

To quote briefly from that report, NRP Setúbal P363 is 84 metres in length, and has a displacement of 1,850 tons. She has diesel-electric propulsion, and is powered by two Wärtsilä diesel engines, producing 5,200 bhp (3,900 kW), providing power to two electric motors, which drive two controllable pitch propellers for a maximum patrol service speed of 21 knots. For added manoeuvrability she has a bow transverse thruster.

Built in Portugal, the ship was commissioned in 2019 as one of ten proposed vessels. NRP Setúbal is the fourth in the class. She has a complement of 42 crew and is designed as a non-combatant ship and is therefore lightly armed.

NRP Arpão is a Tridente-class attack submarine and is currently on a 13,000 nautical mile voyage that has taken her for the first time south of the equator. The boat displaces 1,700 tonnes surfaced and has a length o 67.7 metres and width of 6.35m. Her speed is 20 knots submerged and 10 knots on the surface.

Read further details of the submarine in our 1 May article HERE

INS Trishul

The third foreign naval ship to visit South Africa is the Indian Navy frigate, INS TRISHUL, which arrived off Durban on Tuesday 6 June. The ship is on an operational deployment in the Indian Ocean.

By Tuesday evening INS Trishul remained outside port despite the Indian Consulate having announced the vessel would enter port on this date.

INS Trishul was recently in Mombasa which we reported on 1 June 2023.

She is the second frigate of the Talwar class within the Indian Navy. Built in Russia as a modified Krival III class and commissioned in June 2003, she incorporates stealth technologies together with a hull designed to reduce the ship’s radar cross section.

The frigate displaces 4,035 tons loaded and has a length of 125 metres and width of 15.2m. Powered by two DS-71 cruise turbines and two DT 59 boost turbines, the ship can achieve a speed of 30 knots. Her crew complement totals 180 personnel, including 18 officers.

Her main gun is a 100mm A190E and is supported by two Kashtan CIWS ships guns and two torpedo tubes. The ship’s armament also includes anti-air and anti-ship/land missiles and a number of cruise missiles.

INS Trishul first visited Durban on 8 September 2003.

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 7 June 2023


News continues below

Saldanha rail corridor reopened after theft of 11 spans of catenary wire

A 2-mile long ore train on the Sishen-Saldanha ore line, affected last week by cable theft    TFR

Transfer Freight Rail continues to battle against theft of cable and other infrastructure equipment on its main and branch rail corridors.

The latest to be affected was the Ore Corridor, that long section of rail extending from the iron ore mines near Sishen and Hotazel in the Northern Cape, to the port at Saldanha, a distance of 861 kilometres.

According to Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), 11 spans of catenary and contact wire near Olifantshoek in the Northern Cape has been restored after being stolen.

The loss of the overhead cable triggered a power failure that affected a much longer section of the rail.

Among those affected was the Iron Ore Ltd mine at Sishen which had to temporarily close down operations. These have all reopened.

TFR said it has ‘beefed up’ security in the area though how effective this will be has to be seen. Thieves usually just move elsewhere.

Trains were again running and all the details of the restored train service have been shared with the customers, TFR said.

“The security presence in the area has been increased and ongoing initiatives with law enforcement agencies and stakeholders are underway,” TFR advised.

This latest cable theft incident in the Northern Cape mirrors what has been happening along the equally strategic Container Corridor between the port of Durban and Gauteng.

Such has been the extent of theft on this vital rail route that TFR has been reduced to a mere 25% of its capacity because of overhead and other equipment theft.

Similarly the Richards Bay coal line appears permanently crippled by locomotive shortages and recurring damages to rail infrastructure. The coal line has also fallen victim to a number of spectacular derailments, for which reasons are seldom forthcoming from the rail operator.

As a result the port and its road approaches are experiencing severe congestion, which is causing frustration and anger among residents of Richards Bay and adjacent towns, with threats of road blockades if the problem is not resolved.

On an annualised basis it can now be expected that the Richards Bay Coal Terminal will receive a mere 40 million tons of coal delivered in this calendar year – down 10mt on last year’s 30-year low of 50mt and way below the average in excess of 60mt of a few years ago.

This is directly attributable to the problems on the rail – a system that only a relatively few years ago was regarded as one of the best heavy-haul rail systems in the world!

These failures by Transnet Freight Rail have placed increased pressure on the national road network between the port and the hinterland as well as the city roads of Durban and Richards Bay leading into the port and container and bulk terminals.

Making matters worse it is learnt that Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s recent visit to China in an effort to resolve the differences between the locomotive suppler CRRC Corporation and Transnet failed to achieve its purpose and that locomotives and spares from that company continue to be embargoed by the manufacturer.

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 6 June 2023


News continues below

Kenya touts PPP for five of its ports including sections of Mombasa

Port of Mombasa scene    KPA

The new presidency of William Ruto continues with shake-ups and innovation. News has been released of the intention to seek public-private-partnerships in the management and operation of five of the country’s ports.

Under the oversight of the Kenya Development Corporation (KDC) and the involvement of the Lapsset Corridor Development Authority, the intention of the new government is to lease the management and operations of these ports to experienced parties.

How this will differ, if at all, from a pure concessioning process is not yet clear though it is understood that throughout many parts of Africa terminology such as privatisation and concessioning are often to be avoided. In this respect the PPP proposal could mean the same as a ‘concession’ arrangement.

“The ports are confronted with the challenge of congestion and, therefore, higher dwell times for cargo. The ports will be leased/concessioned to private operators with landlord-type port management system,” the KDC explained.

The five Kenya ports are: sections of Kilindini Harbour (Port of Mombasa), Lamu Port (north-eastern Kenya), Kisumu Port (on Lake Victoria), Dongo Kundu Port (Mombasa port area), and Shimoni Fishing Port (southern Kenya).

The Kenya Government has taken note of an apparent preference for its landlocked neighbours, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, in favour of the Tanzanian ports and railway network, which has serious connotations for the Kenya Ports Authority and Kenya Railways Corporation.

Readers will be aware that the Kenya Standard Gauge Railway has ended prematurely at Naivasha, still hundreds of kilometres from the Uganda border, with no immediate likelihood of extending further towards the Uganda border in the near term. Meanwhile, the Tanzanian SGR is moving ahead to termini on Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika and the possibility of reaching north to Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.

The effect of this may be seen in the decrease in cargo volumes handled at the Port of Mombasa for the first time in five years, with cargo moving through the port dropping from 34.76 million tonnes in 2021 to 33.74mt in 2022. source: Business Insider Africa

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 6 June 2023


News continues below

In Conversation: Les grands projets d’infrastructures ne sont pas une panacée pour le développement industriel : enseignements des modèles du Ghana et du Kenya

Le projet de port de Lamu au Kenya   KPA

Seth Schindler, University of Manchester and Tom Gillespie, University of Manchester

L’initiative phare de l’Union africaine, l’Agenda 2063, accorde la priorité au développement d’infrastrucrures de grande envergure et promet de “relier le continent par le rail, la route, la mer et les airs”.

Cette initiative est menée parallèlement aux efforts visant à améliorer l’intégration économique. En 2021, les 54 pays du continent sont entrés dans l’histoire lorsqu’ils ont décidé de commercer au sein de la Zone de libre-échange continentale africaine. Il s’agit de la plus grande zone de libre-échange au monde.

Les partisans d’une approche du développement axée sur les infrastructures affirment que l’amélioration de la connectivité favorisera l’industrialisation et l’urbanisation planifiée. Elle donne aux décideurs politiques les moyens de créer des régions urbaines bien planifiées, capables d’être compétitives dans l’économie mondiale et d’attirer les investissements directs étrangers. Ceux-ci, à leur tour, favoriseront la croissance industrielle.

L’argument avancé est que la création de corridors de développement, de zones économiques spéciales, de nouvelles villes et l’élaboration de plans directeurs d’urbanisme conduiront au développement d’espaces urbains qui peuvent être “connectés” aux réseaux de production mondiaux. Cela stimulera la productivité et la compétitivité de l’industrie africaine. En fin de compte, les pays africains exporteront davantage de produits manufacturés à forte valeur ajoutée que de ressources naturelles et de produits agricoles non transformés.

Nos recherches remettent en question ces affirmations. Nous avons évalué l’impact des projets de corridors de développement transnationaux au Kenya et au Ghana. Nous avons constaté que dans les deux cas, l’amélioration de la connectivité n’a pas réussi à catalyser l’industrialisation. Au contraire, elle a encouragé la spéculation foncière en ouvrant de nouveaux espaces à l’investissement immobilier.

Cela pose problème. L’incapacité à stimuler la croissance industrielle risque d’enfermer l’Afrique dans l’économie mondiale en tant qu’exportateur de matières premières. En outre, les villes sans industries présentent des niveaux d’inégalité plus élevés que les villes qui sont plus industrialisées.

Nous avons conclu que les infrastructures qui relient les mines aux ports ne suffisent pas. Elles doivent être accompagnées de politiques qui découragent la spéculation foncière et encouragent les investissements productifs dans des usines capables de transformer les matières premières et de fournir des emplois à la jeune main-d’œuvre urbaine du continent.

Le développement axé sur les infrastructures en Afrique

La mauvaise qualité des infrastructures est un héritage des programmes néolibéraux d’ajustement structurel imposés aux pays africains par le Fonds monétaire international dans les années 1980 et 1990. Les gouvernements qui ont reçu ces prêts n’avaient pas le droit d’investir dans les infrastructures. Mais les investisseurs privés ont montré peu d’intérêt pour la construction d’infrastructures logistiques et énergétiques transnationales à grande échelle.

La crise financière de 2008 a tout changé. De nombreux gouvernements ont réagi en réintroduisant la planification du développement national. Ces plans comprenaient des projets d’infrastructures de grande envergure. Ces projets ont pu être financés parce que les faibles taux d’intérêt dans les pays industrialisés signifiaient que les emprunts étaient bon marché.

En 2018, plus de 50 corridors de développement étaient à différents stades de construction dans toute l’Afrique. De nombreux gouvernements se sont pleinement engagés en faveur d’un développement axé sur les infrastructures. Les réseaux de transport et d’énergie ont été étendus à une vitesse fulgurante dans le cadre d’une compétition continentale.

Étude de cas 1 : Ghana

Le Corridor Abidjan-Lagos est un projet de construction d’une autoroute transnationale à six voies reliant la capitale du Ghana, Accra, à Abidjan, Lomé, Cotonou et Lagos.

Le projet a été lancé en 2014 par la Communauté économique des États de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO) avec le soutien de la Banque africaine de développement et de l’Union africaine. Plus de 50 % du corridor traverse le territoire ghanéen.

L’initiative bénéficie d’un large soutien politique au Ghana. Grâce à sa politique “One District – One factory ” (“Un district, une usine”), le président Nana Akufo-Addo du National Patriotic Party a cherché à soutenir l’industrialisation à travers toute une gamme de secteurs économiques qui vont du textile aux produits pharmaceutiques. Il a accéléré le projet du Corridor et fait pression pour recevoir la Direction générale qui gère le projet.

L’autoroute constitue un pilier de cette “région mégalopole” d’Afrique de l’Ouest qui s’urbanise rapidement. Il s’agit de projets immobiliers pour la construction planifiée d’une ville nouvelle à 50 km d’Accra et d’une extension urbaine non planifiée qui s’étend le long du corridor.

Ce corridor n’a pas donné une forte impulsion aux capacités industrielles du Ghana. Selon les données de l’ONUDI, l’industrie manufacturière représentait 14 % du PIB du Ghana en 2008. En 2022, ce chiffre n’était plus que de 11,8 %. Elle a, toutefois, créé des conditions d’une spéculation immobilière.

Étude de cas 2 : Kenya

Nous avons trouvé des résultats similaires au Kenya. En 2008, le gouvernement a lancé Kenya Vision 2030. Cette initiative visait un certain nombre de secteurs économiques clés. L’agro-industrie, le textile, le cuir et les matériaux de construction en font partie. L’espoir était de presque doubler la part de l’industrie manufacturière dans le produit intérieur brut.

Le gouvernement kenyan s’est lancé dans une frénésie de dépenses d’infrastructures. En 2019, le Kenya entreprenait plus de projets d’infrastructures de grande envergure que presque n’importe quel autre pays d’Afrique.

Nombre de ces projets sont inclus dans le Corridor de transport Lamu – Soudan du Sud – Éthiopie. Celui-ci est conçu pour intégrer le nord du Kenya et les zones frontalières environnantes dans une région transnationale dotée d’une infrastructure logistique de classe mondiale. En outre, le Standard Gauge Railway (ligne de chemin de fer à voie normale) a été construit pour relier Mombasa et Nairobi, tandis qu’une série de projets routiers autour de Nairobi ont été conçus pour décongestionner le centre-ville.

Mais le secteur manufacturier kenyan a été généralement décevant. Selon l’ONUDI, la valeur ajoutée manufacturière par rapport du PIB est passée de 11,8 % en 2008 à 8,9 % en 2022.

Le boom des infrastructures a toutefois accéléré l’étalement urbain et la spéculation. Les investisseurs se sont rués sur les terrains adjacents aux nouveaux projets à Isiolo et Lamu. Au nord de Nairobi, l’autoroute de Thika a impulsé un boom immobilier périurbain. Par exemple, le promoteur international Rendeavour construit une nouvelle ville avec des équipements de pointe pour 150 000 résidents.

Ailleurs, le long de l’autoroute, des propriétaires locaux ont construit des immeubles de grande hauteur pour tirer parti du marché locatif bas de gamme en plein essor.

Que faut-il faire ?

Nos conclusions n’excluent pas la possibilité que le développement axé sur les infrastructures puisse stimuler l’industrialisation à l’avenir. Mais elles suggèrent qu’il doit s’accompagner d’une politique qui décourage la spéculation foncière et immobilière.

Actuellement, dans de nombreuses villes africaines, l’immobilier n’est pas taxé, de sorte que de nombreuses élites le considèrent comme le “pari le plus sûr”. Le prélèvement d’impôts sur la propriété découragerait la spéculation et générerait des revenus qui pourraient être utilisés pour les dépenses publiques. Cette approche a fonctionné dans les pays d’Asie de l’Est qui ont réussi leur transformation industrielle.

Sans cela, le développement axé sur les infrastructures risque de contribuer à la poursuite de l’urbanisation sans industrialisation et les gouvernements africains n’atteindront probablement pas leurs objectifs industriels et resteront dépendants de l’exportation de ressources naturelles et de produits agricoles.The Conversation

Seth Schindler, Senior Lecturer in Urban Development & Transformation, University of Manchester and Tom Gillespie, Lecturer in Global Urban Development, University of Manchester

Cet article est republié à partir de The Conversation sous licence Creative Commons. Lire l’article original.

Inscrivez-vous à la newsletter Africa Ports & Ships – c’est gratuit
Ajouté le 6 juin 2023


News continues below

In Conversation: Grand infrastructure projects aren’t a magic bullet for industrial development – insights from Ghana and Kenya

Kenya Lamu Port Project   KPA

Seth Schindler, University of Manchester and Tom Gillespie, University of Manchester

The African Union’s flagship Agenda 2063 initiative prioritises large-scale infrastructure development and promises to “link the continent by rail, road, sea and air”.

This is being undertaken in parallel with efforts to improve economic integration. In 2021, the 54 countries on the continent made history when they began trading within the African Continental Free Trade Area. It is the largest free trade area in the world.

Proponents of an approach to development that focuses on infrastructure claim that improving connectivity will foster industrialisation and planned urbanisation. It gives policy makers tools to create well-planned urban regions that can compete in the global economy and attract foreign direct investment. These, in turn, will foster industrial growth.

The argument goes that setting up development corridors, special economic zones, ‘new cities,’ and drawing up city master plans will lead to the development of urban spaces that can be ‘plugged in’ to global production networks. This will boost the productivity and competitiveness of African industry. Ultimately African countries will export more high-value manufactured goods rather than natural resources and unprocessed agriculture commodities.

Our research calls these claims into question. We assessed the impact of transnational development corridor projects in Kenya and Ghana. We found that in both cases, improved connectivity failed to catalyse industrialisation. Instead, it encouraged land speculation as it opened up new spaces to real estate investment.

This is a problem. Failure to trigger industrial growth risks locking Africa into the global economy as an exporter of raw materials. On top of this, cities without industry have higher levels of inequality than their more industrialised counterparts.

We concluded that infrastructure that links mines to ports isn’t enough. It needs to be accompanied by policies that discourage speculation in land, and encourage productive investment in factories that can process raw materials and provide jobs to the continent’s young urban workforce.

Infrastructure-led development in Africa

Poor quality infrastructure is a legacy of neoliberal structural adjustment programmes imposed on African countries by the International Monetary Fund in the 1980s and 1990s. Governments that received these loans were largely prohibited from investing in infrastructure. But private investors showed little interest in building large-scale transnational logistics and energy infrastructure.

The 2008 financial crisis changed everything. Many governments responded by reintroducing national development planning. These included large-scale infrastructure projects. These projects could be financed because low interest rates in advanced-industrial countries meant that borrowing was cheap.

By 2018 more than 50 development corridors were in various stages of construction across Africa. Many governments were fully committed to infrastructure-led development. Transportation networks and energy grids were expanded at break-neck speed in a continental competition.

Case study 1: Ghana

The Abidjan–Lagos Corridor is a project to build a transnational six-lane highway connecting Ghana’s capital, Accra, to Abidjan, Lome, Cotonou and Lagos.

The project was launched in 2014 by the Economic Community of West African States with the support of the African Development Bank and African Union. More than 50% of the corridor traverses Ghanaian territory.

The initiative enjoys broad political support in Ghana. Through his One District One Factory policy, President Nana Akufo-Addo of the National Patriotic Party has sought to support industrialisation across a range of economic sectors, from textiles to pharmaceuticals. He has fast-tracked the Corridor project and lobbied to host the management authority of the project.

The highway is the cornerstone of a rapidly urbanising West African ‘megacity region’. Real estate projects range from a planned new city 50km from Accra to unplanned urban sprawl that extends throughout the corridor.

The corridor has not significantly boosted Ghanaian industrial capacity. According to UNIDO data, manufacturing accounted for 14% of Ghana’s GDP in 2008. By 2022 this figure had shrunk to a mere 11.8%. It has, however, created opportunities for real estate speculation.

Case study 2: Kenya

We found similar results in Kenya. In 2008 the government launched Kenya Vision 2030. This targeted a number of key economic sectors. Agro-processing, textiles, leather and construction materials are some of these. The hope was that it would nearly double manufacturing’s share of gross domestic product.

The Kenyan Government went on an infrastructure spending spree. By 2019 Kenya was undertaking more large-scale infrastructure projects than almost any other country in Africa.

Many of these projects are included in the Lamu Port–South Sudan–Ethiopia Transport Corridor. This is designed to integrate northern Kenya and its surrounding borderlands into a transnational region that boasts world class logistics infrastructure. In addition, the Standard Gauge Railway was built to link Mombasa and Nairobi, while a series of road projects around Nairobi were designed to decongest the city centre.

But Kenya’s manufacturing sector has generally disappointed. According to UNIDO manufacturing value added as a proportion of GDP decreased from 11.8% in 2008 to a 8.9% in 2022.

The infrastructure boom has, however, accelerated urban sprawl and speculation. Investors have rushed in to secure land adjacent to new projects in Isiolo and Lamu. North of Nairobi, the Thika Superhighway has catalysed a peri-urban real estate boom. For example, international developer Rendeavour is building a new city with state-of-the-art amenities for 150,000 residents.

Elsewhere along the highway local landlords have built high-rise tenements to capitalise on the booming low-end rental market.

What must be done?

Our findings do not rule out the possibility that infrastructure-led development could drive industrialisation in the future. But they suggest that it must be accompanied by policy that discourages speculation in land and real estate.

Currently, property in many African cities is not taxed, so many elites consider it the ‘safest bet.’ Levying taxes on property would discourage speculation and generate revenue that could be used for public spending. This approach has worked in East Asian countries that have successfully achieved industrial transformation.

Without this, infrastructure-led development is likely to contribute to further urbanisation without industrialisation. African governments will be unlikely to achieve their industrial objectives, and remain dependent on exporting natural resources and agricultural goods.The Conversation

Seth Schindler, Senior Lecturer in Urban Development & Transformation, University of Manchester and Tom Gillespie, Lecturer in Global Urban Development, University of Manchester

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 6 June 2023


News continues below

Dan Ngakane appointed as AMSOL’s new chief executive

Dan Ngakane, AMSOL’s incoming CEO

Takes over from Paul Maclons from July

African Marine Solutions Group [AMSOL], has announced the appointment of Dan Ngakane as the incoming Chief Executive Officer, with effect 1 July 2023.

Ngakane will replace Paul Maclons, who has been at the helm for 17 years.

The incoming CEO has a background in the Energy, Transport and Mining sectors spanning 20 years, with roles at Barloworld, Anglo Platinum and Eskom. He holds Master’s Degrees in Engineering and in Business Administration, as well as a Bachelor of Laws.

At the end of June Maclons will vacate the CEO position and take a Special Advisory role while continuing to serve on the Board of Directors.

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 6 June 2023


News continues below

DNV: Biofuels can accelerate shipping industry towards decarbonization, but production capacity raises questions

DNV’s latest white paper ‘Biofuels in shipping’ finds that the flexibility of biofuels can enable the shipping industry to accelerate its journey towards decarbonization while maintaining operational efficiency.

Current limitations in production capacity, however, may impact short-term supply and create stiff competition with other sectors.

DNV’s latest white paper “Biofuels in shipping”

With the shipping industry getting ready to meet decarbonization requirements, the use of biofuels is on the rise, says DNV.

The current global production capacity of sustainable biofuels is around 11 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) per year. DNV predicts that a sustainable and economically viable supply of biofuels, ranging from 500 to 1300 Mtoe annually, can be achieved by 2050.

However, to fully decarbonize shipping using biofuels, in combination with energy efficiency measures, an annual supply of 250 Mtoe of sustainable biofuels is required by 2050. This would represent 20-50% of potential global production.

“Biofuels are poised to play a notable role in the decarbonization of shipping,” says said Eirik Ovrum, Principal Consultant in DNV Environment Advisor.

“Nevertheless,” he adds, “existing constraints on production capacity and competition from other sectors is likely to impact short-term supply to the maritime industry.”

Ovrum says a major build-up of sustainable production capacity is needed before biofuels can reach their full potential and thus shipping’s goal of decarbonizing will need to be achieved in combination with energy efficiency measures as well as use of other low carbon fuels alternatives.

Regulatory developments, such as The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), present a strong incentive for embracing biofuels, making both biofuels and biomass highly sought after by various sectors as they strive for decarbonization.

These resources are also currently being used in cooking, water and space heating, as well as timber and pulp and paper production posing some challenges to production capacity and availability.

The white paper takes a closer look at these challenges by shedding light on the potential role of biofuels in enabling the decarbonization of shipping, while also offering practical advice on the necessary preparations before integrating biofuels onboard vessels.

You can download the white paper in full CLICK HERE

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 6 June 2023


News continues below

Transnet concludes roadshows at ports of Durban & Richards Bay

Richards Bay Port Master Plan revealed    Picture TNPA  

Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) series of public participation roadshows on the port development framework plans at the respective ports came to a close recently at the Port of Durban.

Having started on 3 May with the Eastern Cape ports – see that report by CLICKING HERE, the sessions sought to outline TNPA’s port development plans for the immediate to long-term period and give feedback on stakeholders’ issues after publishing the proposed plans.

The Cape Town report may be seen HERE

Port of Durban

The strategic projects planned for the KZN ports in the short term (2022 – 2032) remain in line with the TNPA KwaZulu-Natal Port Master Plan which aims at positioning the Port of Durban as a regional container hub.

These include the development of the new Point Container terminal, the amendment of port limits, the expansion of the automotive terminal, and container storage for Pier 2.

Predicted changes include the Durban Marina Development and a new cruise terminal to expand cruise line vessel calls. A proposed solution to further relieve congestion around the Durban Container Terminal is the construction of a second access road, (long wanted).

Port of Richards Bay

Richards Bay is set to be the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) energy hub of South Africa, this is part of TNPA’s port development plans earmarked for the short-term period at the Port of Richards Bay.

The LNG project aligns with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s strategic plan for 2020-25, which articulates the development of the gas market as an alternative energy source to meet limited and depleting gas supplies.

This will see an increase in infrastructure capacity at the port to import the gas. LNG importation will reach various markets in the KwaZulu Natal region and across South Africa.

The Request for Proposals on this is out in the market and will close on 14 July 2023.

Salisbury Island Naval Base, with Island View liquid bulk terminals at left and beyond

Longer term plans for Richards Bay

Longer term plans for the Port of Richards Bay include adding to the number of berths, the creation of a passenger cruise terminal and the establishment of a naval base for the South African Navy.

This will replace the existing naval base station on Salisbury Island in Durban, an area that is required by TNPA for the extension of the Pier 1 container terminal. This project will however be handled in conjunction with the Department of Defence and will require a considerable amount of finance that appears currently unavailable to that body.

A more contentious development is the creation of a facility and space within the port for a pair of Karpowership vessels in order to provide additional electrical energy for the Eskom grid. This matter, including similar facilities at the port of Ngqura and Saldanha, has been insisted on Transnet by National Government.

A total of 19 projects are listed for the Port of Richards Bay in its current Master Plan. A point to consider is that Port Master Plans are visionary and by their nature may undergo change or even withdrawal as time elapses.

The 19 projects are (not in any order):

provision for relocated bulk commodities
reconfiguration of Bayvue Rail Yard
two allocated liquid bulk sites
additional chrome storage at Mega Chrome Terminal
relocation of South 32 stockyard
provision for a container handling facility
Karpowership area
extension of the ferro slab to accommodate future growth
new berth 605
new berths 802 and 803 at what is known as Mega Terminal
new berths 709 and 710 for neo bulk
new berth 210 for liquid bulk
two future liquid bulk sites
a new berth for liquid natural gas (LNG)
future LNG storage sites
passenger terminal
Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone.
relocation of the SA Navy to Naval and Pelican Islands
environmental offset land

See related article ‘TNPA seeks alternative 20 MW energy capacity at Richards Bay port’

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 5 June 2023


News continues below

The Global South port security project: UN Committees and the EA-SA-IO region

Picture: IMO

Edited by Paul Ridgway

A major project to support the safety and security of port facilities on vital trade routes in the in Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean region is set to continue its work. Future plans include national workshops in each beneficiary country to assess law enforcement capacity in each of the three domains covered by the project. This was reported by the IMO media service on 1 June.

Members of the Steering Committee and Technical Committee of the Port Security and Safety of Navigation in Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean project were updated on progress to date and the project’s next steps at separate meetings held from 23 to 25 May in Cape Town.

The Port Security Project aims to ensure the safety and security of port facilities on vital trade routes in the EA-SA-IO region critical to the economic development and prosperity of the Global South.

Agencies’ involvement

Alongside IMO, the project, which was initiated in 2020, is jointly implemented by the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) under the strategic direction of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).

The Port Security Project provides technical expertise to increase safety and efficiency in the maritime sector. Its work is split between the three implementing partners, with IMO focused on the port security and safety aspects of navigation, whilst INTERPOL and UNODC work on its law enforcement aspects.

Indian Ocean Commission coordination

In addition to the implementing partners, those at the Cape Town meetings included National Focal Points from the respective project countries: Angola, Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles and the United Republic of Tanzania. The meetings were coordinated by the Indian Ocean Commission.

SAMSA hosting

Port Security Project’s nine beneficiary countries and three partner countries took part in the Cape Town meetings, along with regional partners. The event was hosted by the South Africa Maritime Safety Authority, which holds observer status on the project. The European Union, which sponsors the project, was also represented.

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 5 June 2023


News continues below

ILO and IMO chiefs pledge continued support for seafarers

Picture: IMO

Edited by Paul Ridgway

IMO Secretary-General Mr Kitack Lim welcomed International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General, Mr Gilbert Houngbo, to IMO HQ on 22 May to discuss matters impacting seafarers and intensify the already close cooperation between the two UN agencies.

Ukraine: Stranded ships and seafarers

The two principals discussed the situation of ships and their crews stranded in Ukrainian ports since the outbreak of the military conflict and explored initiatives to facilitate safe departure of ships and their crew from Ukrainian ports.

MLC 2006

The meeting appreciated the ongoing close cooperation with industry and affected flag states and emphasize the need for updated information regarding the number of ships and the situation of the crew concerned to identify required action. The meeting highlighted the importance for the relevant parties to continue observing ILO’s Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, as amended (MLC, 2006).

Matters of mutual interest

The principals also discussed issues of mutual interest, in particular the close cooperation concerning the role of the human element in shipping and the need to ensure decent working conditions for all seafarers.

STCW and the ISM Code

Further, the meeting discussed developing synergies in the field of technical cooperation.

These included the need to enhance flag and port State inspections of ships with respect to social responsibilities and labour rights. To this was added the promotion of the MLC, 2006, as an internationally binding instrument closely connected to IMO’s International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, and the International Safety Management (ISM) Code.

There were also shared concerns with respect to manning and fatigue; fair treatment of seafarers, including abandonment, criminalization and bullying and harassment.

It was agreed that there would be regular consultations held between the two Secretariats.

To raise the profile of shipping and seafarers

The IMO and ILO principals reiterated their deep interest in moving forward to raise the profile of the critical role of shipping and seafarers through a future joint initiative. Both principals agreed that the meeting served to strengthen the working relationships of the IMO and ILO Secretariats and consequently benefit seafarers all over the world.

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 5 June 2023


News continues below

Trans-Africa Railway to link Indian and Atlantic Oceans

Kenya’s splendid standard gauge railway, which unfortunately does not fully connect the country to the Uganda border    KR

Once more there is talk of a new trans-Africa railway connecting the Indian Ocean with the South Atlantic.

Kenya’s new president, William Ruto appears to have thrown himself firmly in favour of this ambitious plan which has been knocking around for some years.

Three, maybe four countries need to cooperate to make this a reality – Kenya on the Indian Ocean coast, Uganda through which the line would lead, the DRC and/or the Congo Brazzaville.

If this ever comes to fruition – we raise this doubt because none of the four nations are able to complete or maintain existing railway projects within their own states – the port at Mombasa would become the Indian Ocean terminus, with one of the Atlantic ports in either the DRC or Congo Brazzaville.

President Ruto intimated at the Private Sector Dialogue on the African Continental Free Trade Area gathering held in Nairobi recently, that discussions were underway with representatives of each country to understand how such a project can be brought into existence.

“I think there is only a section of a 1,000 kilometres of the rail and that should be connected,” Ruto said.

Map of DRC railway network including disused lines and waterways.  Map: Wikipedia Commons

The theory seems to be that having a cross Africa railway will cut the time taken to ship goods from one side Africa to the other for onward carriage to Europe or the Americas or to South-East Asia. This would boost trade, it is said.

The claim is that the railway will make trade viable between Africa and other parts through seamless connectivity, the claim goes.

“And as countries we are prepared to work on it together,” said Ruto. ” That we can do our section in Kenya. Uganda are already working on their section.

“We are discussing with the Government of DRC to see how together we can get the resources to get the a 1,000 kilometres in the DRC and connect it to the Congo River and transport our goods…..,” he added.

The president said a conversation is currently being held between Kenya, Uganda, DRC, including Congo (Brazzaville) to see how to connect the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic.

“I think there is only a section of a 1,000 kilometres of the rail and that should be connected.”

Congo Brazzaville rail network.  Map: Wikipedia Commons

What is being overlooked is that such a railway already exists just a little further south – the TAZARA Cape gauge railway that connects with the Cape gauge railway extending north through Zambia and the DRC into Angola and the Benguela Railway extending to the Atlantic port of Lobito.

This line is not only in existence but offers the same gauge throughout the journey, thus obviating delays caused by changes in gauge, as would be necessary further north. The proposed line from Kenya commences with standard gauge, then still in Kenya reverts to the narrow metre gauge, which continues into Uganda. In both the Congo and the DRC a third gauge (Cape gauge) is in use connecting Brazzaville with the port at Pointe-Noire (Congo), and Kinshasa with Matadi (DRC).

Between the twin cities of Brazzaville and Kinshasa and the border with Uganda there are no rails of any use – presumably the 1,000 km that President Ruto refers to. It is seriously doubtful if any connection would have an immediate economic value.

The other factor involves the theory of some benefit being derived from avoiding having to ship cargo around the Cape, which ignores the reality that ships carry far greater volumes of cargo than trains, seamlessly, and can either call at ports along the way to bolster their own economics, or if sufficient initial cargo is at hand, to sail direct to eventual destinations.

An extension of railways across the DRC and/or Congo would certainly offer benefits to local communities en route, whilst ‘opening up’ isolated regions to the local benefit of communities. Beyond that one can see little value.

If that were not so then ask why are there no freight trains already operating between Dar es Salaam and Lobito?

See related article two stories below….

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 5 June 2023


News continues below

RwandAir aims high: Kigali to become air cargo hub

RwandAir, which recently entered into a partnership with Qatar Airways, is aiming high by way of developing Kigali airport as a regional air hub.

According to Loadstar, Qatar now flies twice weekly from Doha into Kigali using a 777F aircraft and twice weekly a scheduled onward service to Entebbe, Nairobi and Liege before returning to Doha, via either Oslo or Lyon.

In 2022 RwandAir introduced a 737-800SF as a dedicated freighter that launched operations into African destinations and the Middle East, flying from Kigali.

Picture: Qatar Airways partnering with RwandAir

In March this year Qatar Airways commenced an intra-Africa service three times weekly between Kigali and Lagos, as well as a weekly service from Istanbul via Doha to Kigali, using an A310F.

RwandAir seeks cargo services with Johannesburg and Lusaka

In addition to the above with Qatar Airways, RwandAir is seeking permission from the South African Civil Aviation Authority for a cargo service between Kigali, Lusaka and Johannesburg.

If approved this will be operated using two A310-300F freighters obtained from Turkey;s ULS Cargo Airlines. This again signifies an arrangement with Qatar, which previously operated them between Kigali, Lagos and Doha.

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 5 June 2023


News continues below

Zambia confirms interest in copperbelt railway connection with CFB

A Benguela Railway (CFB) passenger train   LAR

During a visit to the Luau border crossing between Angola and the DRC, the Zambian governor for his country’s Western Province, Kapelwa Mbangweta, confirmed that Zambia is still wanting to make use of Angola’s Benguela Railway (CFB) to export copper and other commodities through the port at Lobito.

The minister arrived in Luau by train.

The railway crossing at Luau in the extreme west of Angola, marks the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the end of the CFB connection. From here the DRC maintains the Cape gauge railway further into the DRC and to its southern border crossing with Zambia and that country’s extensive copperbelt area.

The same railway continues south through Zambia and into Zimbabwe, and from there direct to South Africa and its ports or via a second route into SA via Botswana.

Within Zambia the railway also connects with the Tanzania-Zambia or TAZARA railway that runs east to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam. This is currently the only east-west railway connecting the Indian and Atlantic Oceans.

Zambia has also expressed an interest in a shorter direct connection of its copperbelt region with a railway extending from Zambia west into Angola and eliminating the section via the DRC.

CFB railway map showing proposed direct line connecting Angola with Zambia

There appears however little progress having been made with this latter project in which South Africa’s Grindrod Group had expressed an involvement.

Governor Mbangweta in fact reaffirmed Zambia’s commitment to this project, saying there was an urgent need to build the railway branch between the Jimbe region in Zambia an the town of Luacano in Angola, which requires a railway extension of 300 kilometres.

The Benguela Railway was reopened in 2019, some 34 years after its closure and has since handled relatively small movements of ores from the DRC to the port at Lobito. This has consisted mainly of copper concentrates and manganese.

Angola’s Deputy Governor for the Political and Social and Economic Sector of Moxico province, Victor da Silva, described the railway extension into the DRC and Zambia as an infrastructure project of capital economic and political importance to Southern Africa.

He said the railway link will increase the flow of commercial and economic activity, in addition to further investment and opportunity.

“This will be an important step towards economic integration at the level of Southern Africa,” he pointed out.

Sign up for Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter – it’s free
Added 5 June 2023



in partnership with – APO

More News at



‘We do not need magic to transform our world.  We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already.’

 – J.K. Rowling


News continues below………

More Earlier News at



Request a Rate Card from


Port Louis – Indian Ocean gateway port

Ports & Ships publishes regularly updated SHIP MOVEMENT reports including ETAs for ports extending from West Africa to South Africa to East Africa and including Port Louis in Mauritius.

In the case of South Africa’s container ports of Durban, Ngqura, Ports Elizabeth and Cape Town links to container Stack Dates are also available.

You can access this information, including the list of ports covered, by  CLICKING HERE remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.

News continues below


QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

We publish news about the cruise industry here in the general news section.

Naval News

Similarly you can read our regular Naval News reports and stories here in the general news section.




For a Rate Card please contact us at

Don’t forget to send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome. Email to

Colour photographs and slides for sale of a variety of ships.
Thousands of items listed featuring famous passenger liners of the past to cruise ships of today, freighters, container vessels, tankers, bulkers, naval and research vessels.P O BOX 809, CAPE TOWN, 8000, SOUTH AFRICA