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ECA and Kribi deep sea Port stepping up for a partnership to develop a new-generation Special Economic Zone integrated to the Port

16 April, 2024
ECA and Kribi deep sea Port stepping up for a partnership to develop a new-generation Special Economic Zone integrated to the Port

Kribi, April 16, 2024 (CEA) – ECA will provide its expertise to leverage the integrated industrial zone of the Kribi deep sea port to a new generation special economic zone.

ECA is willing to fully support the port’s industrial area as a special economic zone, contributing to the development of regional value chains and value retention through an affirmative local content policy. To achieve this, the settled industries and those in the setting up process must build partnerships with SMEs to sustain skills development. All this, topped off by drastically reduced administrative formalities in terms of business settlement. Moreover, the port and the industrial complex environmental sustainability must be given particular attention, so that the massive infrastructure cater efficiently for future generations.

Built on a 15,000-hectare site, the industrial zone has been operational since January 2018. To date, it is home to fully operational 40 industrial companies. The indicated production units operate in the agri-food, cement, automotive assembly, forestry and timber sectors... This industrial zone aims to becoming a pivotal industrial-port complex in Central Africa. By 2030, it will reach its final phase of construction and will include mining plants and an ore terminal, all served by a railway for better connectivity to regional trade. The ore terminal will have an initial processing capacity of 100 million tonnes, which can be increased to 150 million tonnes. It will facilitate the exploitation of the Mbalam deposit in Cameroon and the Nabeba deposit in the Republic of Congo. The two Governments have already embarked on resources mobilization to build the railway and efficiently exploit the deposit.

ECA Report on the impact of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on the demand for transport, infrastructure and services reveals that implementation of the AfCFTA will double sea freight traffic from 58 to 131.5 million tonnes. The African maritime network comprises 142 links connecting 65 ports, and accounts for 22.1% of intra-African freight transport. This share will increase by 0.6% to 22.7% if the AfCFTA and the planned infrastructure projects are fully implemented. ECA also points out that the AfCFTA requires 126 ships for bulk goods and 15 ships for containers by 2030. These figures are reduced to 121 and 14 ships respectively if the planned infrastructure projects are effectively implemented.

In this context, the deep seaport of Kribi, with a depth of 16 meters, offers both a logistical and an industrial platform for the subregional economic diversification led by an inclusive industrialization. The port has demonstrated this leadership by hosting the first import operation to be carried out in Cameroon under AfCFTA preferences, in 2023.

During the courtesy call He paid to Patrice Melom, General Manager of the Kribi Port, Jean Luc Mastaki, ECA Director for Central Africa, praised the work being done to turn Kribi into a modern industrial port complex. "We are ready to support the activation of the industrial port complex as an engine for the development of regional value chains in Central Africa and a catalytic platform to harness economic opportunities within the “Kribi-Douala-Edea Growth Triangle”, as identified by ECA-CA studies" he stated. A delegation from the Kribi Port is expected to visit ECA-CA in the coming week to deepen the discussions on the areas for collaboration between the two institutions.

Issued by:
Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826