By Nizar Manek, Bloomberg
The government of Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland may award a concession to DP World Ltd. to develop the port of Bosaso, President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali said.
Ali traveled to Dubai last week to discuss the concession, he said in an interview March 21 in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where he was on an unofficial visit. Michael Vertigans, a spokesman for DP World, declined to comment beyond saying the company continues to seek opportunities in Africa.
“The discussion is ongoing,” Ali said. “It hasn’t yet been finalized.” He declined to provide further details.
Puntland, situated on the tip of the Horn of Africa, declared autonomy in 1998 and severed ties with the Somalia’s federal administration in August 2013 after accusing the government of failing to distribute power and share resources including foreign aid with the region. While it’s been relatively stable compared to southern Somalia, which has been battling an Islamist insurgency for the past decade, it has faced attacks by al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab and Islamic State militants.
Puntland’s constitution allows the government to perform all the functions of a state, including mobilizing revenue for basic services such as security, according to the World Bank’s website. It’s main source of revenue is customs and taxes on international trade.
Puntland’s government has yet to discuss the issue of sharing revenue from the port’s development with Somalia’s federal government, Ali said.
“But that doesn’t exclude us from developing the port itself,” he said.
Last year, DP World won a 30-year concession with an automatic 10-year extension to manage and develop a multi-purpose port project at Berbera in the neighboring Somali state of Somaliland. The company said at the time it plans to invest $442 million and that the first phase would involve a 400-meter (1,312-foot) quay and a 250,000 square-meter yard extension.