Dubai-based port operator DP World and the UK’s CDC Group Plc have come together to launch an investment platform that will pump $1.72 billion to develop ports and logistics in Africa.
The partnership, which took four years to come to fruition, will help accelerate Africa’s potential as a global trading hub and improve the economic prospects of millions of people, CDC said Tuesday.
The British development finance institution is committing $320 million to the platform initially and expects to invest an additional $400 million over the next few years.
DP World will contribute its stakes in three existing African port projects to the platform. The three ports are located in Dakar, Senegal; Sokhna, Egypt; and Berbera in Somaliland. It also plans to invest an additional $1 billion through the platform over the next several years.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO at DP World, said that responsible and sustainable infrastructure in Africa was critical to unlocking the trade potential of the continent.
“By combining our in-depth knowledge of ports and logistics and CDC’s expertise in infrastructure investment in Africa, we can drive greater supply chain efficiencies, provide improved trade connectivity and ultimately enhance value for all stakeholders,” he said.
Nick O’Donohoe, CEO at CDC Group, said that Africa’s full potential is limited by inadequate ports and trade bottlenecks, putting the brakes on economic growth in some of the world’s fastest-growing economies and undermining social resilience in the least developed parts of the world.
The CDC chief said that the investment platform will “help entrepreneurs and businesses accelerate growth with access to reliable trade routes.” It will also help African consumers benefit from the improved reliability and reduced cost of vital goods and food staples, he added.