Ethiopia is to start using the Port of Berbera of Somaliland this month on an agreement reached between the two countries on January 29, 2015, while the use of Port Sudan has started by the importation of 50,000tn of fertilizer.
Ethiopia is distributes its cargo among neighboring countries’ ports as the country needs alternative ports aside that of Djibouti. Workeneh Gebeyehu, Minister for Transport, said, “Five to 10pc of the country’s imports are planned to come through the port of Berbera, and we will be looking for proper ports for different areas of the country.” “But the Port of Djibouti continues to be the major one,” he added.
Ethiopia had expressed its dependence on Port Djibouti as a concern when it issued a one billion dollar sovereign bond in October 2014. The move towards issuing the bond came after Ethiopia got a ranking of B+ by foreign rating companies namely, Moody’s, S&P and Fitch.
It seems that the effort to reverse the full dependence of the country on Djibouti by finding alternative ports is bearing fruit.
“Five to 10pc of the country’s imports are planned to come through the port of Berbera, and we will be looking for proper ports for different areas of the country,” said Workineh Gebeyehu, minister of Transport when reporting his office’s six months’ performance to the Parliament. “But the Port of Djibouti continues to be the major one.”
The Ethiopian Shipping & Logistics Services Enterprise (ESLSE), which has 15 ships out of which two are for oil, has finished dealing with an agent in the Berbera Port and one of its ships will be deploying 20 to 30 containers to the port this month.