Ethiopia + Berbera Port + China deal – change in the Horn?

by yeEthiopiaforums

Somaliland media sources and other rumours, including on Twitter, have
suggested (12 Aug) that a deal on Somaliland’s Berbera port is
imminent with China and Ethiopia. According to Somaliland media,
Somaliland President Ahmed M. Silanyo, leading a high-level
ministerial delegation, is in Beijing for his first China visit.
Ethiopian officials are rumoured to be en-route to China for the
announcement. This recent story on Somaliland media gives more details.
Berbera Port sits in a very strategic location on the Red Sea and
plans to become a major port in the region for Somaliland, Ethiopia,
South Sudan and Somalia. It could offer effective competition to
Djibouti. last week reported presidential spokesman
Abdullahi M. Dahir said the visit will focus on foreign investment,
trade and development: “The aim of our trip is to seek foreign direct
investment (FDI) projects from China in the fields of energy, mineral
exploration and Agriculture.



Berbera port somaliland

We are also going to seek assistance from China to implement water
projects and other key infrastructures including transportation
requirements (airports and roads).” The report added that the
President was due to stop over in Addis Ababa for key talks with
Ethiopian officials over a number of topics including the “Berbera
corridor”, security and trade.
In March the same news source reported that the Somaliland Government
plans to privatize the port and was holding discussions with Chinese
firms. The Somaliland Foreign Minister, Dr Mohamed Abdullahi Omar had
visited Beijing, China, after a visit via Addis Ababa over the port
and other key areas, including security, and has apparently made
several visits to China. The report says: “Both governments are
pushing for foreign firm to invest in the port. According to sources
close to the Government a number of firms expressed interest including
the Hong Kong based, Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH), France’s Bolloré
Africa Logistics and Holland-based, APM Terminals.” The latest report suggests that “Somaliland might lease
the port to the global port operator and Hong Kong-based Hutchison
Port Holdings (HPH) who might team up with another Hong Kong-based
firm, PetroTrans Company Ltd, an oil and gas exploring giant which
already won concession to explore oil in Ethiopia’s Ogaden region. The
Chinese company plans to build gas transport infrastructure and
processing facilities in Berbera where it will export.”
In February The Reporter newspaper in Ethiopia reported that Samson
Wondimu, corporate communications head with the Ethiopian Roads
Authority, said the Ethiopian and Somaliland governments were trying
to secure the funds from the EU that would be used to rehabilitate the
245 kilometre long Togochale (boarder town)-Berbera road. Some 50 kms
from the Ethiopian border, the road is rough and the asphalt road
begins near the capital city, Hargeisa and goes up to Berbera.
The ageing asphalt road from Hargeissa to the port is in a very poor
condition and it needs urgent rehabilitation. Berbera is an
alternative gateway to Ethiopia and currently is said to be mostly
used for food aid. But the Ethiopian Government plans to import parts
of the country’s import via Berbera. The port also needs to be
developed and it needs a substantial amount of investment.
According to Somaliland press, the first phase of the project, already
approved by the EU, will be to conduct a study on how to develop the
Berbera Corridor, a 850 km road. This could connected to a North-South
(Cairo-Gaborone) highway. The news reported: “The second phase will be
finding a reliable contractor for the job and investors. At the
moment, its at the second phase and both Ethiopia and Somaliland have
been in talks with a Chinese firm in Addis Ababa that is already
constructing roads and highways in Ethiopia.” Mr Samson said the
Ethiopian Government was finalizing work on the Jijiga-Togochale 67
km. road construction project launched 3 years ago with local
construction firm, Akir Construction, due to finish soon.
Somaliland has been operating peacefully and democratically as a
self-declared separate state since May 1991 and has been pushing for
international recognition ever since. One key obstacle could be the
African Union’s failure to take an African lead in opening this
Kuwait reportedly recently gave Somaliland $10 mln to develop the airports.


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Omer Hussein Dualeh August 13, 2011 - 12:10 am

Great news for both of us [Somaliland & Ethiopia]. Let us forge a very serious and prosperous relations between us and expand to South Sudan and any other country who might interest to share the future good with us. We need to chance the face of our countries to goodness and prosperity. Let us forget the artificial barriers that was created by those who do not want us to develop and live peace with each other, due to the long hidden, but exposed it now – Egypt and the Nile Water.

We are Africans, and we shoud act like one, and defend our interest together.

ddt August 13, 2011 - 9:43 am

bad news for Great Somalia and mugadishu, ethiopia stolen our Port berbera and our oil and gas in ogadania.

onlf is ready…

garooweman August 13, 2011 - 11:20 pm

if it is true, we will attack directly wayoone ragime aka Melezes sanawi

Abdi August 14, 2011 - 3:25 am

Happy for Somaliland

hagar bayle August 15, 2011 - 1:30 am

calan bile said berbera belongs to somalia,i am sure you have got much more false history from the collective folly of somalia,it is not your fault,but now i am telling you berbera belongs to somaliland,not to somalia where these collective folly rules.

hagar bayle August 15, 2011 - 2:29 am

such trilateral deals is beautiful and it is very prospective for somaliland along with Ethopia and china.

Dagim August 15, 2011 - 11:11 am

This is another chinese dream to colonize africa no matter the price is.

dereje melaku August 20, 2011 - 12:38 pm

i have been informed by the great child of ethiopia abou the rehabilitation of the berbera port . for the import and and export of materials and goods which can be used by the ethiopian regime and southern sudan. but it is not the solution particularly for the greater ethiopia.
dear the childern of ethiopia inorder to see the prosperious and united ethiopia we have to have our natural import and and export way that is assAB OFFCOORSE IT WILL BE REALIZED AFTER THE FALL OF FASCIST WOUYANE


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