Cabinet ministers approved the project of Agreement between the Government of Somaliland and Dubai Ports World on Thursday.

The president of SL, Ahmed Silanyo flanked by the vice president, Abdirahman Saylici were co-chairing the council of ministers meeting. The ministerial committee in charge of the deal that SL entered into DPW said that several foreign-based firms expressed interest in the takeover of Berbera port. SL Presidency minister, Mohamud Hashi Abdi said that Ballore Logistics, the French-based firm was part of the competition to win the expansion project of Berbera port. The FM went on to say that Dubia Ports World joined the competition at a late time but cited that DPW is the only company that SL has a vested interest in it. SL’s Presidecy minister has strongly repudiated the claim citing that the government has given the go-ahead when it comes to DPW to takeover Berbera Port.

The minister has publicly asserted that the government has leased the port for a certain period of time.

Somaliland Presidency Minister has pointed out that both sides will benefit from the agreement once put into effect. The minister has reiterated that after having made thorough survey that there was no alternative venue to develop the port unless allowed the smooth leasing. Mohamud Hashi has acknowledged that due to lack of funds and resources deter from SL government to overhaul the port. The minister has announced that Berbera and Aden Ports were the most well-known ports in the Gulf of Aden but now remains one of the least developed ports in the region. UAE-based Firm, Dubai Ports World has recently signed a deal with SL authority estimated to be around 442 million dollars. It will manage Berbera port for thirty years according to the memorandum of understanding.

The Minister has officially announced that a final agreement will be signed by both sides in the coming week where the stipulations demonstrate that DPW must renovate the port within a matter of 12 months starting from the date that the agreement puts into operation. Once a new modern port is erected then DPW will undertake to restore the old port. The minister added further that a third port will be built which is 400m in length after 75 percent of both ports are accomplished.

The workers at the port who are estimated to be around 849 will surge and is expected to reach 3000 workers who will be working once the three ports are completed. The United Arab Emirates will bankroll the funds for the realisation of Berbera Corridor which is vital for linking SL to Ethiopia. The major aim of the DPW deal with SL is to serve for the 90, 000 Ethiopian population, a landlocked country in the region. SL will benefit from UAE materialising projects on electricity and agriculture. Employees from Somaliland will seek employment opportunities in the UAE. Trade hub is due to be built in Somaliland which will promote trade between SL and the UAE.

Unemployment is rampant in Somaliland and it is poised that youth will get employment from the project. The Head of State has asked the ministers to pass the agreement by raising their hands. All ministers who were in attendance at the meeting of council of ministers have unanimously passed the deal with no objection or abstaning. Ministers in charge of the deal to materialise flanked by SL representative to the UAE who spoke once the meeting ended said that the task at hand is to see the full implementation of the agreement.

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