Somaliland is planning a multi-million dollar port development deal

12 January 2014 (Last Updated January 12th, 2014 18:30)

Somaliland is negotiating a deal for the construction of a multi-million dollar port at Berbera on the Gulf of Aden.

Somaliland is negotiating a deal for the construction of a multi-million dollar port at Berbera on the Gulf of Aden.

Somaliland is a sovereign state in the north of Somalia, which expects the new port to position the country as an export gateway for Ethiopia.

Human rights lawyer and a key member of the project Jason McCue said that after six months of negotiations an offer has been made by one of the world’s best port operators.

"That port will become a major international port," McCue said.

The new port will serve as a trade hub between Africa and the Middle East and make Somaliland a bridge between the two regions, where countries have already started huge projects.

"We want to develop the corridor between Berbera and Ethiopia because that is really the lifeline."

Kuwait is spending $10m on upgrading its two airports and Hargesia is planning to develop the road networks and oil pipeline, to support the export needs of Ethiopia.

Somaliland Foreign Minister Mohamed Bihi Yonis said they are trying secure international partners to help them with infrastructure.

"We want to develop the corridor between Berbera and Ethiopia because that is really the lifeline," Bihi Yonis said.

McCue was quoted by This is Africa as saying that Somaliland’s financial self-sufficiency is almost inevitable.

"When big international companies come in, who have immense power in the states where they are from, they are going to demand that their home state pushes for [Somaliland’s] independence, because they are going to want to operate in a normal financial services market," McCue added.