Zimbabwe Dry Port inaugurated

A dry port facility located in the harbour town of Walvis Bay is set to ease movement of goods and services for landlocked Zimbabwe through the port.

04 August 2019 | Infrastructure

Emmerson Mnangagwa; Zimbabwean president; ‘… deepen the prospects of our companies to increase trade within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area.”

Walvis Bay - Leandrea Louw

Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa recently inaugurated the Zimbabwe Dry Port in Walvis Bay.

Mnangagwa said that this new facility will assist in the economic development of Zimbabwe and further integrate the rest of the SADC countries.

He implored officials to work tirelessly to ensure that businesses and investors realise immediate benefits from the dry port.

“The facility enables our imports and exports from the USA and Europe to reach Zimbabwe without having to take the Vasco da Gama route. It offers the country plenty of opportunities, options and access to vast markets and destinations. It will further deepen the prospects of our companies to increase trade within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area by promoting intra-Africa trade.”

He also called on the two governments to work on improving the land connection between the two countries and said the biggest possibility for doing so is a railway line.

Zimbabwe’s trade volumes through the Port of Walvis Bay have grown significantly to about 2 500 tonnes per month and the Walvis Bay Corridor serves as a real alternative to link Zimbabwe to Europe, North America as well as South America.

The Namibian government granted Zimbabwe 19 000 m² of land in 2009 on a lease agreement of over 50 years to construct the dry port, seen as critical to boosting the landlocked southern African country’s trade.

The construction of the close to N$50 million facility began on 31 March 2015 and was spearheaded by RMS, a subsidiary of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), in partnership with the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) and the Namibian Port Authority, with the African Development Bank providing the funding.

The facility will not only serve Zimbabwe, but Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and possibly the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Zimbabwe used to rely heavily on the Beira port in Mozambique as well as the Durban port in South Africa.

Namibia also offered dry port facilities to Botswana and Zambia. The allocation of these dry ports supports Namibia’s objective of being a regional hub in the region and the preferred port of choice. Botswana’s dry port operates on 36 200 m² of land.

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