Global trade enabler DP World has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with Namibia’s Nara Namib Free Economic Industrial Zone today to develop a free economic zone for industry and logistics in Walvis Bay to support the growth of Namibia as a regional hub for Southern Africa.
The development will help Namibia grow as a centre for industrial operations and logistics, creating opportunities and jobs across multiple sectors including agriculture, fishing, automotive and mining. The facility at Walvis Bay will provide businesses with development-ready land for industrial and logistics operations, pre-built warehouses and office accommodation. The first phase will be a gross developed area of 50 hectares, with expansion opportunities up to 1,500 hectares. The parties have set the second quarter of 2020 as the target date for reaching a definitive agreement on the project.
Development of the first 50 hectares phase of the zone has the potential to create 3,000 jobs and help attract investment to Namibia of N$ 3.5 billion (approx. US$237 million). Expansion to 1,500 hectares is expected to increase the potential investment to N$25 billion (around US$1.7 billion) with 20,000 job opportunities.
Enhancing Walvis Bay as a hub will support Namibia by increasing trade flows with surrounding markets such as Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi and South Africa. Namibia is in a prime location on the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Corridor.
As part of the MOU DP World plans to bring to the project its extensive expertise and track record in establishing and operating some of the world’s leading ports, logistical parks and free zones integrated with railways and trucking. DP World has a network of more than 150 operations in 46 countries.
DP World’s flagship development, Jebel Ali Port, is the largest container port between Rotterdam and Singapore and the 11th largest container port in the world, with an annual capacity of 19.3 Million TEU.
The Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza) stretches across 51 square kilometres and is home to 7,500 companies employing 135,000 people, including more than 100 Fortune 500 corporations. Jafza and Jazfa-based companies handle $83.1bn in trade annually, contributing around a quarter of Dubai’s GDP.
Suhail Al Banna, CEO and Managing Director – Middle East and Africa at DP World said : “DP World is pleased to work with Nara Namib to explore how we can work together to enable smarter trade in Namibia. We believe the country has great potential to expand its role as a hub for the region. The Namibian government’s recent legislation on free zones and efforts to facilitate greater business provides an attractive environment for investment. »
Andre Olivier of Nara Namib said, “Today’s MoU brings us a step closer to fulfilling Namibia’s vast trade and economic development prospects, and we look forward to benefiting from DP World’s global expertise and network in the areas of parks, economic zones, ports and logistics while creating synergies with our strong local footprint and industry reach.”
DP World’s potential expansion in Namibia complements its notable presence in other key African nations including Senegal, Rwanda, Mozambique, Egypt, Algeria and Somaliland.