A concession agreement between Dubai Port World and Rwanda signed last week will see Kigali becoming a regional inland port as well as provide opportunities for youth in the East African country.
According to Francois Kanimba, Minister of Trade and Industry, the logistics platform comes at an opportune time, streamlining increasing traffic from regional and international players.
This will help “trucks bringing cargo to Rwanda, to offload the containers as they arrive and load empty containers and go back where they come from,” said Kanimba.
“This facility will significantly increase the turnaround of trucks which do international transport services and then increase the efficiency, reduce the cost.”
Another benefit of this deal is that it includes the warehouse industry, so this gives importers a space where they can store the raw materials or finished products to make selling more efficient.
“These kinds of services in the past have been expressed as missing in our economy by a number of industries,” said Kanimba.
Other services include a “big” parking yard because in the past few years Rwanda has been suffering from lack of such logistic services.
This “resulted in trucks parking alongside the loads here and there or even going through the city – creating problems of heavy traffic.”
The minister explains that this parking lot will be located out of the main business centre of the city to minimise congestion from the trucks.
“We have booked around 30 hectares there, but the 30 hectares will not be developed at the same time,” said Kanimba.
For the initial phase they will only use 13 hectares of the space and the second phase is planned for about five years from now.
“We will negotiate the condition to use the second part of the land but the land is already booked – we have the money in our current budget.”
Suhail Al Banna, DP World Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Middle East and Africa believes this agreement will also benefit the youth of Rwanda.
“We are bringing the expertise and the knowledge of logistics – our main focus is to develop the Rwandan youth in the logistic area.”
He hopes the youth get the opportunity to be taken to Dubai and other branches of their country to learn hands-on knowledge about logistics, containers and warehousing.
“Our activities will not be limited to the logistic part in Rwanda – it will be more as an enabler for the Rwandan businessman to do business with the world,” said Al Banna.