Africa Defense Forum
ADF is a professional military magazine published quarterly by U.S. Africa Command to provide an international forum for African security professionals. ADF covers topics such as counter terrorism strategies, security and defense operations, transnational crime, and all other issues affecting peace, stability, and good governance on the African continent.

Turkish Company to Manage Mogadishu Port

A Turkish company Albayrak Group has signed a 20-year agreement to manage the Mogadishu port with promises to modernize it and oversee its growth.

Outsourcing port operations is one more sign of Somalia’s slow rehabilitation, a dramatic shift from more than two decades of war in which clans battled for control of the nation’s most valuable asset and let its facilities decay.

“If you come to the Mogadishu port at the moment, you will wonder if it is a market or a port,” said Abdirahman Omar Osman, an advisor to the Somali presidency. He described how porters rush to dhows and ships as they tie up, seeking cash to help unload. “The Turkish company will improve the infrastructure, maximize the income of the government, and bring the port to international standards.”

An efficient port is vital for the government. It is the state’s biggest single source of revenue and essential to building a functioning economy in a nation that is still battling the al-Shabaab insurgency. The deal also might help change the reputation of Somalia, which has become notorious as a jumping-off point for pirates, although hijackings have dropped sharply since 2012.

The government is seeking to balance the need for an efficient port with job preservation. “They will not lose their jobs,” Ports and Marine Transport Minister Yusuf Moallim Amin said, adding that more traffic could mean work for more porters.

Amin said he wants traffic to grow from the 3,000 containers per month that now arrive on vessels to 50,000 in a few years.

The port’s intake of $5 million per month from duties could double in a year with more traffic, the minister said. Albayrak also will improve collection of service fees, amounting to $1.2 million, of which the state gets 55 percent, Amin added. Albayrak aims to build four new berths and repair others, bringing the number of working berths to 10.

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