Walvis Bay New Port given financial boost

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and Namibia have signed a $338 million sovereign guaranteed loan to Namibia Ports Authority (Namport) to finance the construction of a container terminal at Walvis Bay New Port.

The AfDB Group approved the construction of the container terminal project as part of its ten-year strategy and focus on infrastructure development and regional integration.

The bank also provided a $2.3 million to the Namibian government for logistics and capacity building to complement the port project loan.

In a statement Ebrima Faal, regional director of the AfDB's Southern Africa Resource Centre, said: "This project is important for Namibia and for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. It is critical to fulfilling Namibia's aspirations to become a world-class logistics hub in the SADC region."

Faal added that the project will enhance international and inter-regional trade and regional integration and Namibia will be able to fully exploit its unique geographical location to facilitate trade to and from the region.

"With the high levels of youth unemployment, the Bank's support to Namport and the Government of Namibia will greatly improve private sector development and youth employment and will especially boost women participation in the logistics sector," he emphasised.

The project is expected to enable Namport to triple the container-handling capacity at the Port of Walvis Bay from 350,000 TEUs to 1,050,000 TEUs per annum.

It will also finance the purchase of up-to-date port equipment and the training of pilots and operators for the new terminal.

The grant component will fund the preparation of the National Logistics Master Plan study, technical support and capacity-building for the Walvis Bay Corridor Group and training of freight forwarders with particular emphasis on female staff.

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