Africa’s export markets set to boom in the wake of ports expansion

With Africa’s overall port utilisation capacity now exceeding 70%, ports authorities and terminal operators are actively calling for partners in development to equip Africa’s ports and harbours for post-neo-panamax shipping requirements. As international trade volumes increase at growth rates of 6-8% per year, expansion projects in Africa follow suit and gain momentum. Trade facilitation and port reform aim to propel Africa’s export markets to compete on a global stage. The establishment of modern and efficient seaports has climbed to the top of Africa’s transport agenda to enable port connectivity and increase cargo throughput so much so that port and corridor expansion is not only creating new business opportunities for port city development across the sub-Saharan region but now also opening up new access to hinterland areas and strategic trade corridors.

Against this backdrop, the 6th annual African Ports Evolution Forum unites ports authorities, terminal operators, investors and government from more than 29 countries to boost intra-African trade, reduce port congestion, increase port connectivity and throughput and identify new business opportunities to boost expansion and modernisation.

Port expansion and upgrade projects currently underway across Africa are valued in the billions. The value of ports projects underway in Tanzania currently total US $13.6 and Mozambique has already witnessed investments of US $8.3 billion towards ports upgrade and expansion in 2017 alone. African Ports Evolution Forum explores the myriad opportunities now available for the generation of new revenue streams at African ports through concessions, systems upgrades, expansion projects and more, unlocking qualified channels for ports’ respective development pipelines in line with the 2040 Vision for Africa’s transport sector. The 2040 Vision for Africa's transport sector is an integrated African continent where transport infrastructure and services enable the free movement of goods and passengers by providing efficient, safe, secure, reliable and seamless transport options.

The Honourable Joe Maswanganyi, South Africa’s Minister of Transport will deliver the keynote address at the event this October and will be joined by Africa’s maritime leaders including Nozipho Mdawe, Secretary General of the Ports Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA) and The Honourable Nancy Karigithu, Principal Secretary for Shipping and Maritime Affairs at Kenya’s Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, among others.

Two co-located events take place alongside the African Ports Evolution Forum 2017: the African Rail Evolution Forum focussing on rail rehabilitation and maintenance and Trade and Investment Kwa-Zulu Natal’s Export Week promoting KwaZulu-Natal's export businesses and industries. Over 100 exhibitors will showcase their products and services to a qualified audience of hundreds of Africa’s leading maritime decision makers.