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Ports, Transport and Logistics Sector News Round-Up, 10/2019 (6-17 May 2019)

24 May 2019
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In light of the rapid pace of infrastructure and transport developments across Africa, our Ports, Transport and Logistics (PTL) Sector Group is pleased to present Bowmans’ latest PTL news round-up. Our regular round-ups bring you a selection of pan-African PTL-related stories and keep you up to date regarding developments in the space across Africa.

We draw on a network of multi-disciplinary experts across Africa in fields as diverse as project finance, construction and environmental law, to keep you in the know about developments and thought leadership in the PTL space.

As the articles to which we refer readers are, unless stated otherwise, neither written nor edited by ourselves and appear in their original form, we mention that by publishing them Bowmans does not necessarily agree with opinions expressed in those articles.

This edition includes news headlines and links to articles from a variety of sources, covering stories from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Djibouti, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

For more information, please feel free to contact Andrew Pike or Trudie Nichols.

Bowmans partners attend Mozambique Ports and Rail Evolution
Andrew Pike and Trudie Nichols attended and each chaired a session of the Mozambique Ports and Rail Evolution conference held in Maputo on 13 and 14 May. Andrew’s session focussed on port specific developments in the region and Trudie’s on regional integration. The conference was well attended by ports and rail authorities, logistics operators, users and service providers from around the SADC region. The most notable theme to emerge was the extent of development, both actual and proposed within the region and the apparent political will to create efficient, well-integrated logistics corridors.

Inter-port competition hots up (Kenya, Tanzania, Djibouti)
Source: FTW Online (17 May 2019)
There is strong competition between the ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam to  establish themselves as the regional East African trade hub – with Djibouti being added to the mix. Read the full article here.

The region’s ‘good news story’ (East Africa)
Source: FTW Online (17 May 2019)
Ethiopia is set to be the fastest-growing economy in Africa, averaging growth of 8.2% for the next six years. Read the full article here.

MSC agrees major investment in Canary Islands Terminal
Source: Port Technology (17 May 2019)
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company and the Port Authority of Las Palmas have agreed an investment plan to boost the Port of La Luz, Gran Canaria, according to local reports. Read the full article here.

SA needs to focus on Africa trade to avoid ‘tit for tat’ trade war fallout (South Africa)
Source: FTW Online (15 May 2019)
As global trade analysts continue to warn about the global economic impact of the rising trade tensions between the United States and China, a local economist suggests that South Africa should focus more on internal development and increased trade with other African nations. Read the full article here.

Transnet’s acting chief, Mohammed Mahomedy, gives evidence about suspicious contracts (South Africa)
Source: Daily Maverick (15 May 2019)
Transnet acting group chief executive Mohammed Mahomedy is currently testifying at the Zondo Commission to a series of suspect dealings around several controversial contracts under investigation by the State Capture Commission. Read the full article here.

Beira fuel terminal set to reopen later this month (Mozambique)
Source: Africa Ports (14 May 2019)
Beira’s fuel terminal, which suffered damage in March during Cyclone Idai, is set to resume operations later this month, according to Cornelder Mozambique managing director, Jan de Vries. Read the full article here.

Minister Davies Approves Recommendation to Designate the Bojanala Special Economic Zone (South Africa)
Source: South Africa’s department of Trade and Industry DTI (13 May 2019)
South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, has issued a Gazette Notice (No. 42451) notifying the public and interested parties of his intention to designate the Bojanala Special Economic Zone. The public and interested parties will have 30 days from the date of the Gazette to support or object to this intended designation. Read the full media statement here.

New report raises questions about legitimacy of TNPA contracts (South Africa)
Source: FTW Online (10 May 2019)
The corporatisation of Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and claims that it is running the country’s ports unlawfully because it is a division rather than a subsidiary of the parastatal, have come under the spotlight after a court ruling that a report by the Ports Regulator of South Africa on the matter be made public. Read the full article here.
Bowmans comment: Our News Round-Up 5/2019 reported on the possible corporatisation of the TNPA, as announced by transport minister Dr Blade Nzimande at the inaugural Maritime Transport Dialogue in Durban earlier this year. In an article appearing in the Rapport newspaper on 19 May 2019 it was reported that the Public Protector intends to investigate the alleged refusal of the erstwhile Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Pravin Gordhan, to corporatize and ensure the independence of TNPA. We have not to date seen any article in any other publication which corroborates this report.

PPPs ‘crucial’ for Africa’s development
Source: FTW Online (10 May 2019)
The United Nation’s Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) called for the advancement of public-private partnerships (PPPs) to finance development in Africa, at the fourth International PPPs Forum earlier this week. Read the full article here.

New Ugandan Lake Victoria ferry nears completion at Jinja (Uganda)
Source: Africa Ports (10 May 2019)
A new ferry on Lake Victoria is nearing completion at the Masesse landing site shipyard in Jinja in Uganda. To be named MV SIGULU, the ferry was ordered by the Ugandan government in order to provide a lake service for the Lolwe and Sigulu sub-counties in Namayingo District. Read the full article here.

Konecranes to equip Tema Terminal 3 with 11 lift trucks (Ghana)
Source: Africa Ports (10 May 2019)
Konecranes has secured another order for port terminal equipment in West Africa with the supply of 11 container handling units for Meridian Port Services at its new Terminal 3 operation in Tema, Ghana. Read the full article here.

African businesses urged to ‘dive into’ the Blue Economy
Source: Africa Ports (10 May 2019)
African businesses are being challenged to wake up to the economic, social and environmental power of the Blue Economy. Read the full article here.

Railway between Port of Beira and Zimbabwe undergoes rehabilitation (Mozambique and Zimbabwe)
Source: Africa Ports (9 May 2019)
A USD 200 million rehabilitation of the railway between the Mozambique port of Beira and Zimbabwe is currently underway. The Cape gauge (3ft 6ins or 1067mm) railway connects the port and the Zimbabwe border at Machipanda and carries freight and cargo to and from not only Zimbabwe but several other neighbouring countries including Zambia and Malawi. Read the full article here.

ExxonMobil provides USD 100 000 in cyclone Kenneth relief aid (Mozambique)
Source: Africa Ports (9 May 2019)
It was announced on 7 May by ExxonMobil in Irving Texas that it is providing USD 100 000 to support disaster relief and recovery efforts in Mozambique following Cyclone Kenneth, which made landfall on 25 April. Read the full article here.

SA caught in the middle of China/ US trade tensions (South Africa)
Source: FTW Online (9 May 2019)
South African exporters are bracing themselves for the inevitable fall-out as trade tensions escalate between China and the United States (US). Read the full article here.

African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) set to enter into force on 30 May 2019
Source: Africa Ports (7 May 2019)
The African Union (AU) Commission has announced that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is set to enter into force on 30 May. This follows Sierra Leone and the Saharawi Republic each depositing their AfCFTA instruments of ratification to the AU Commission. Read the full article here.

South Africa-South Sudan sign oil exploration and production sharing agreement (South Africa and South Sudan)
Source: Africa Ports (7 May 2019)
The signing yesterday (Monday) of the new exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) between South Sudan and South Africa’s Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF) is seen as a strategic boost to both countries – for South Africa as an energy consumer, and for South Sudan as a boost to the oil sector and promoting peace and stability within the country. Read the full article here.

No Chinese loan to further develop Kenya’s SGR to Kisumu (Kenya)
Source: Africa Ports (7 May 2019)
The recent visit to China by a Kenyan delegation led by President Uhuru Kenyatta has failed to secure a USD 3.68 billion loan that would have been used to extend the Kenyan standard gauge railway (SGR) from Naivasha to the Lake Victoria port city of Kisumu and from there to Malaba on the Uganda border. Read the full article here.

Transnet had to let Morwe go because of non-disclosure (South Africa)
Source: FTW Online (7 May 2019)
Transnet could not in good conscience have approached its hearings at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture with acting CEO Tau Morwe still at the helm, the parastatal’s board chair person Popo Molefe told Judge Raymond Zondo today. Read the full article here.

Governments commit to resolving Kasumbalesa impasse (DRC and Zambia)
Source: FTW Online (7 May 2019)
In a concerted effort to resolve ongoing congestion at the Kasumbalesa border between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), representatives of both governments have committed to monitoring border security and ensuring the safety of transporters. Read the full article here.

Boost for Mombasa port as SGR and port modernisation yields results (Kenya)
Source: Africa Ports (6 May 2019)
The introduction of the standard gauge railway (SGR) between Mombasa and Nairobi and a corresponding modernisation programme at the port is yielding positive results for the Mombasa port. Read the full article here.

Good start of the year for Port of Nacala (Mozambique)
Source: Africa Ports (6 May 2019)
While it would appear that the port of Nacala in northern Mozambique has escaped the ravages of Cyclone Kenneth because it being sufficiently far south of the devastating cyclone, news has been received that the port has experienced an excellent first quarter. Read the full article here.

Ecowas Regional Transport Integration Project gets underway
Source: Africa Ports (6 May 2019)
Feasibility studies on the Abidjan-Lagos Expressway Project has commenced and the West African Growth Ring Master plan (WAGRM) has been completed. Read the full article here