South Sudan spurs huge logistical moves for Ethiopia, Djibouti

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Major moves from a fortnight back between Djibouti, Ethiopia and South Sudan have materialized on matters of logistics.
On September 18, a delegation led by Taban Deng Gai, Vice-President of South Sudan, together with Ministers from Communication, Transport, Equipment and Road of the State paid a six day visit to the two neighboring countries.
The delegation’s visit to Djibouti which lasted 3 days saw interactions with different government official with agreements being penned to enhance cooperation in logistics and other infrastructure sectors. The deals will see South Sudan benefiting with regards to access of alternatives for its economic and social developments.
As per the information Capital obtained from Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority (DPFZA), the delegation had visited different logistics facilities including a submarine telecom hub.
The delegates met with Aboubaker Omar Hadi, President of DPFZA, mainly to discuss the development of a refinery project and the pipeline which South Sudan’s intends to export its natural gas from the Port of Damerjog.
”Discussions focused on the progress of the ongoing refinery and pipeline project between Djibouti and South Sudan, in particular via the industrial complex of Damerjog,” DPFZA stated on its statement.
Recently, South Sudan’s Refineries and Petrochemicals Company (REPCO) signed a land lease within Djibouti International Free Trade Zone (DIFTZ) for a period of 50 years to store oil equipment.
REPCO now owns 1.3 hectares of land in the free zone which will allow it to store materials and other products intended for the processing and extraction of oil before being transported by air or land to South Sudan.
Amplifying the road connectivity was also discussed and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the two parties allowing the landlocked country to access ports in Djibouti for its import export via Ethiopia’s corridor.
The MoU will allow South Sudan to be connected to the rest of the world via the Ports of Djibouti through the road corridor. At this stage there are two corridors, Djibouti – Addis Ababa– Juba – Kampala and Djibouti – Addis Ababa -Gambella– Malakal, and one of which has already been used by Djiboutian transport trucks.
The delegation followed the pace with a working visit to Addis Ababa starting from September 21 with a similar three days visit. The visit was centered on logistics and infrastructure developments between the two countries in consideration of Djibouti as the major sea outlet for Ethiopian cargos.
The delegation also met Ethiopian Ministers led by Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance to discuss various ways to enhancing infrastructure connectivity between the two countries.
The officials discussed and agreed on ways to enhance their previously designed plans in the areas of roads infrastructure, energy, telecommunications, water transportation, and other vital economic sectors with a view of creating integration for mutual benefits.
“As for the agreed projects, the projects will be operationalized and put in to considerations as soon as all the technical aspects are addressed,” Michael Makuei Lueth, Information, Communication Technology and Postal Services Minister said.
“Trade can be facilitated by Ethiopia through Djibouti corridor,” the South Sudanese minister stated.
Ahmed Shide also confirmed that the two sides have concluded a very important agreement in terms of advancing two road projects.
“The projects will be given utmost priority to open up transportation so that connectivity of South Sudan will be enhanced via Ethiopia through Djibouti corridor,” Ahmed said.
“These projects will be financed jointly and we have agreed to finalize the feasibility and preparations in terms of selecting contractors for the joint financing mechanism to be worked on,” Ahmed added.
In transport connectivity, river, fiber optics and transmission line connectivity has been agreed upon and the preparation to realizing the agreement will be commenced.
“We will work together on resource mobilization and reach out to development financial institutions,” Ahmed explained.
South Sudan mostly uses ports in Kenya and Sudan, while relatively ports in Djibouti will be nearer than the facilities in the other two neighboring nations.
The two parties have also agreed to work on the aviation sector.