Africa Maritime Travel

Djibouti Commences Transformation of Historical Port- Launch of East Africa’s International Special Business Zone

Djibouti, 8 October – In a landmark ceremony, held under the auspices of HE President of the Republic of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, Djibouti inaugurated the regeneration project to turn the Historical Port of Djibouti into an international business district.

A 6-phase regeneration plan

The regeneration will see the historical port transformed into a district called the East Africa International Special Business Zone, which will take place in six phases.

The first phase is the International Demonstration Area – the core part of the district – and will have a site area of approximately 220, 500 square metres, a total investment of approximately US$513 million and is due to be completed within 5 years.

The first phase involves the construction of an exhibition centre, including a centre of excellence for maritime studies, as well as conference rooms, a hotel and apartments.

The whole project will ultimately create around 27,000 jobs, directly and indirectly.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Chairman Hadi of DPFZA said:

“The regeneration of the Historical Port of Djibouti is the natural continuation of Djibouti’s recent developments. This project implements the Port-Park-City concept, which refers to the integration of ports, industrial parks and services. The ports are a key node in the transportation of goods; the international free trade zone brings added value to these goods; and this new business district will facilitate the development of services, particularly in the financial sector.”

Maximising the country’s geostrategic position

The development of an international business district will advance Djibouti’s Vision 2035, the national development strategy to maximise the country’s geostrategic position.

This transformation of the historical Port marks the final step in the implementation of the Port-Park-City concept; the full integration of Djibouti’s ports, industrial parks and services sector.

The Historical Port of Djibouti was initially built in 1888 and has developed in tandem with the country’s growth, undergoing several transformations

Over the last decade Djibouti has built new specialised port infrastructure to gradually relocate the activities of the historical Port:

  • Doraleh Multipurpose Port is one of the most modern ports in Africa; it was launched in 2017, has the ability to accommodate vessels with up to 100,000 DWT.
  • SGTD is a key transhipment hub for the region; now fully connected to the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway
  • The Ports of Ghoubet and Tadjourah are two multipurpose ports mainly designed to handle salt and potash respectively, which supplement the service of the other ports
  • Djibouti is also developing a heavy industry and petrochemical base – Djibouti Damerjog Industrial Park – which will drive forward the industrialisation of Djibouti and of the East African region.