Namport strengthens ties with France

The implementation of a technical cooperation initiative valued at N$10.6 million was recently signed between the Port Authority, GPMD and AFD.

18 February 2020 | Infrastructure

Acting CEO, Kavin Harry, “Namport endeavours to provide a world-class port experience to all users.”

Walvis Bay • [email protected]

The Namibian Ports Authority (­Namport), Grand Port Maritime de Dunkerque (GPMD) and Agence Fran­çaise de Développement (AFD) signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the implementation of a technical cooperation initiative.

The first MoU between Namport and GPMD was signed in February 2019.

The project grant, funded by AFD to the tune of N$10.6 million (€650 000) supports a win-win partnership between the GPMD and the Port of Walvis Bay. The agreement seeks to improve the performances of the Port of Walvis Bay in a regional and international perspective. It also aims to provide a stronger positioning of the GPMD on the maritime flows involving Southern Africa and Europe through peer-to-peer exchanges and consulting services.

GPMD will also avail its expertise for the implementation of a “green port strategy” at Walvis Bay.

Acting Namport CEO Ka­vin Harry said that the tripartite agreement could not have come at a better time and will definitely further the ports' drive towards certain goals.

“Our mission is clear. Namport endeavours to provide a world-class port experience to all ­users and to meaningfully ­contribute towards Namibia's transformational agenda, namely to become a logistics hub for the Southern African Developmental Community (SADC).”

GPMD's chairman of the management board Stéphane Raison said that the maritime sector was a strong contributor to the economy of his country.

“Due to this we pay special attention to the development of our relationships with strategic foreign partners. This has been a topic of common interest between the French and Namibian governments, and I am very pleased to see that the collaboration between our two ports is entering a concrete phase of implementation”.

Valérie Létard, the vice-president of the French senate and a senator of the Hauts-de-France region, expressed the hope that the project would be the first step of a long-term collaboration between France and Namibia.

“I am convinced of the usefulness of this agreement for all partners and trust that the experience of the Port of Dunkirk – which is the third biggest in France – will contribute to the Namibian strategy to be a logistical hub in Southern Africa.”

French ambassador to Namibia Claire Bodonyi said it was easy to sign MoU's without anything coming from it.

“But with this agreement we are fully operational. All partners should make use of this oppor­tunity to its fullest.”

The AFD will also be in discussions with Namport to support the potential investment needs of the port authority, through soft loan financings.

After the opening of its office in Windhoek last year, AFD indicated its willingness to support the implementation of Namibia's National Development Plan (NDP) and the transport sector in particular.

AFD is a public financial institution and the main actor in France's development policy. It provide commitments to projects that genuinely improve the everyday lives of people in developing and emerging countries and in French overseas territories. AFD is active in many sectors including energy, health, biodiversity, water, digital technologies and training. Through its network of 85 agencies, AFD operates in 109 countries and currently supports over 3 500 development projects.

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