New port for Somalia

port deal Hobyo Port will be built in the Mudug region of central Somalia. Image: Qatar Ministry of Transport and Communications

Qatar has established an investment partnership with Somalia to build a new port in the latter's country.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications in Qatar said that the partnership between Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani) and Somalia will see the construction of the Hobyo Port in the Mudug region of central Somalia.

Hobyo Port is expected to bring multiple economic benefits for Somalia. The port could create new business opportunities for the country by bolstering the commercial relationship with new markets in Africa and providing access to global markets, in addition to providing maritime services to vast areas in Somalia.

The Hobyo Port is in proximity to the Bab al-Mandab Strait, one of the world’s most important sea crossing points. Hobyo is also important due to its location in the Mudug region, which links the south and north of the country.

In 2017, countries including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut air and sea traffic to Qatar over its perceived support for Islamist groups. The dispute has continued, however earlier this year DP World and Abu Dhabi Ports eased Qatar shipping restrictions, allowing third party shippers to move cargo to and from Qatar.

In March 2018, Qatar and Sudan made a $4bn deal to develop Sudan’s second-biggest port, Suakin.

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