By Sam Bridge
Port operator says agreement with Nara Namib Free Economic Industrial Zone will support the growth of Namibia as a regional hub for southern Africa
Dubai-based DP World on Tuesday said it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop a free economic zone for industry and logistics in Namibia.
The port operator said the agreement with Namibia’s Nara Namib Free Economic Industrial Zone will support the growth of Namibia as a regional hub for southern Africa.
It added that the development will help Namibia grow as a centre for industrial operations and logistics, creating opportunities and jobs across multiple sectors including agriculture, fishing, automotive and mining.
The facility at Walvis Bay will provide businesses with development-ready land for industrial and logistics operations, pre-built warehouses and office accommodation.
The first phase will be a gross developed area of 50 hectares, with expansion opportunities up to 1,500 hectares. The parties have set the second quarter of 2020 as the target date for reaching a definitive agreement on the project.
Development of the first 50 hectares phase of the zone has the potential to create 3,000 jobs and help attract investment to Namibia of N$3.5 billion ($237 million).
Expansion to 1,500 hectares is expected to increase the potential investment to N$25 billion ($1.7 billion) with 20,000 job opportunities.
DP World said enhancing Walvis Bay as a hub will support Namibia by increasing trade flows with surrounding markets such as Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi and South Africa.
Globally, DP World has a network of more than 150 operations in 46 countries.
Suhail Al Banna, CEO and managing director - Middle East and Africa at DP World said: “DP World is pleased to work with Nara Namib to explore how we can work together to enable smarter trade in Namibia. We believe the country has great potential to expand its role as a hub for the region. The Namibian government’s recent legislation on free zones and efforts to facilitate greater business provides an attractive environment for investment."
DP World said its potential expansion in Namibia complements its presence in other key African nations including Senegal, Rwanda, Mozambique, Egypt, Algeria and Somaliland.