Regional Cooperation: Ethiopia and Sudan will launch new partnership on Port Sudan very soon

Mekki Elmoghrabi
By Mekki Center October 1, 2018

The Article in Arabic Language

By Rashid Abdelrahmam

A Sudanese Prominent Journalist Reveals Considerable Breakthrough on the Ethiopian Trade Movement through Port Sudan Harbour. Mekki ELMOGRABI of Mekki Center and the writer for several African papers and websites  wrote an article under the title “Pilot Model of the Regional Cooperation in Africa .. Big Flow of Ethiopian Exports and Imports via Port Sudan very soon.”

The Writer called for Ethiopian owned dock in Port Sudan “I personally support the idea of establishing an Ethiopian, Chadian and South Sudanese docks in Ports Sudan because such smart link will hold against any regional competition”, he wrote.

When the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed visited Sudan last May he discussed and agreed with President Al Bashir – among other issues – on a deal allowing Ethiopia to take a stake in Sudan’s largest sea gateway port of Port Sudan, according to which Addis will be a new partner in running the business of import and exports through the harbor.

Since May 2018 Port Sudan was anticipating good news on bilateral cooperation in utilizing Port Sudan. Port Sudan city will not wait any more and will witness in the upcoming days a pilot model on regional trade cooperation – which is the pioneering trend in Africa, the article.

President of the Sudan, Omer al Bashir – after Ethio-Sudanese breakthrough – is urged to activate the already started negotiations with Chad and South Sudan to benefit from the harbor in the context of flourishing the African economical blocs which paved the way to establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as a result of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement when African heads of state gathered in Kigali, Rwanda in March 2018 to sign the proposed agreement, two months before the summit between Al Bashir and Abiy Ahmed.

In this regard, Deputy Director of Harburs Authority in Red Sea – Sudan, Salah Hajam affirmed that Port Sudan and all the Red Sea harbors are ready for the Ethiopia exports and imports besides goods and trade from  Chad, South Sudan and the Central African Republic which could be received from Kosti harbor (White Nile state), adding that the specialized harbors are well prepared such as Haidoub harbor for exporting livestock, horticultural products considering that the countries of the region enjoy those resources, especially Ethiopia which has regular export of international reputation. It is worth noting that Haidoub animal quarantine will be completed soon with Chinese partnership. There is also Basaher Oil Exports Harbor, Al-Kheir harbor for petroleum imports and the Southern Harbor for containers.

The international media outlets affirmed that Ethiopia and Sudan have agreed a deal allowing the Horn of Africa nation to take a stake in Sudan’s largest sea gateway port of Port Sudan.

It is true that there are obstacles, but there are also indicators that despite those obstacles there are successes.

The Director of Al-Marfa’a Company (agents of Ethiopian Transit Company), Al-Jizouli Mohammed Al-Jizouli said in a telephone conversation with the author that the Ethiopian sesame export through Port Sudan harbor amounted to about 180,000 tons in seven years and 4 vessels of fertilizers, but the process is suspended due to the slow procedures.

He reiterated his advice to the leaderships of the state to follow up the obstacles from the borders to the harbor and not to limit the process on the harbor agreements, because, according to Al-Jizouli, the harbor is ready when the procedures are completed, but the problem is the route to Port Sudan through the channels which start from the Sudanese embassy in Addis Ababa. “This issue could be resolved by  Amb. Al-Sadiq Al-Faqeeh, the Sudanese ambassador to Ethiopia and AU”, Mekki Elmograbi said.

On the other hand an informed source affirmed that the state is now tracing the reasons of the defects in implementation step by step,

According to Urban Planning Minister in the Red Sea State, Mohammed El-Tahir Haees, the government of the state is prioritizing the main infrastructure to upgrade the Sudanese harbors, adding that Port Sudan harbor is nearer to Ethiopia after Eritrea.

The article referred to an informed source that said Port Sudan harbor is the best for the Northern and Western parts of Ethiopia due to the non-existence of highlands or rugged roads as is the case in the Eritrean harbors which bordering areas depend on Sudan due to the relatively better routes.

Latest News: Ethiopia, Sudan Agree to Jointly Develop Port Sudan

Mekki Elmoghrabi
By Mekki Center October 1, 2018