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Morocco launches the biggest port in Africa

By George Orido | July 5th 2019
Tangier MED Port in Morocco. It has surpassed ports Said and Durban in Egypt and South Africa respectively to emerge Africa's largest port. [George Orido]

Morocco has opened operations at the largest sea port in Africa, with a capacity to handle nine million containers annually.

The port, dubbed Tangier MED, that is in the city of Tangier, is now bigger than other African giant ports — Port Said in Egypt and Durban in South Africa.

The port was launched by Crown Prince Moulay Hassan on behalf of His Majesty King Mohammed VI.

“We want to establish a business hub and build a network of global trade routes that link Africa to the rest of the world for everyone’s economic benefit,” said Mehdi Tazi Riffi, the port’s general manager.

The port is located on the Strait of Gibraltar and connected to 186 other ports globally.

Industrial platform

It has the capacity to handle 9 million containers, 3 million passengers, 700,000 trucks and 1 million vehicles.

Other than transport logistics, Tangier MED is an industrial platform for more than 900 companies, representing an annual business volume of Sh830 billion.

The project was completed at a cost of Sh80 billion through a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP).

It presents a good example for African big infrastructure projects, including the Lamu Port that is projected to cost Sh500 billion.

According to the Lapsset Corridor Executive Director Silvester Kasuku, Kenya is working closely with the Tangier Port management because the ports’ models are very similar.

“We are looking at the best practices from Tangier MED Port and we are focusing on the networking prospects as we encourage inter-Africa trade that will help our people grow economically,” said Mr Kasuku.

Using the latest technology, and boasting a workforce of 5,000, the port is a hub of efficiency.

It is served by the newly built 345-kilometre speed train that links Casablanca to Tangier.

This speed train is also a first in Africa and makes the Moroccan transport and infrastructure story inspiring.

As the largest producer of fertiliser in the world, Morocco has also shown interest in establishing a fertiliser factory in Kisumu.

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