Source: Xinhuanet, Monday January 6, 2020
The governments of Ethiopia and Sudan have emphasised the crucial significance of cooperation on port service and utilisation as landlocked Ethiopia aspires to enhance its access to ports.
This came as high-level officials from the two neighbouring countries met on issues of port service and utilisation, comprising the Ethiopian Minister of Transport Dagmawit Moges and Sudan’s Undersecretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure Omar Ahmed Mohammed and Director General of Sudanese Sea Ports Corporation Onour Mussa, state-run Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) reported on Wednesday.
As part of the two countries’ cooperation ambition on port service and utilisation, Sudan’s Sea Port Corporation “will provide all the necessary support for Ethiopia to use the Ports of Sudan for its import-export commodities,” according to the report.
The Sudanese Sea Port Corporation is also expected to offer back-office for Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Service Enterprise (ESLSE) – an Ethiopian government entity mandated to undertake shipping and logistics service – in order to facilitate the import of fertilizer which is expected to be delivered shortly, it was noted.
During the meeting, high-level officials from Ethiopia and Sudan also “agreed to establish a technical committee to smooth the progress of the port service,” the report added.
The agreement includes implementing the 2003 pledge by the government of Sudan to offer 875,000 square meter area of land close to Port Sudan for Ethiopian logistics service, it was noted.The Ethiopian government had previously indicated its plan to work with Sudan, as the East African country envisaged to tap on Port Sudan’s geographical convenience for the East African country’s northern region.
The Red Sea nation Djibouti presently handles about 90 percent of landlocked Ethiopia’s export-import trade.
With Ethiopia’s population nearing 100 million people and a growing economy, the desire to use the two ports has been considered by the Ethiopian government for some time.