President Kiir eyes Djibouti port to soothe volatile economy

By William Madouk Garang

The Government of South Sudan is planning to join the Djibouti maritime trade hub to shift some of its logistics cargo operations/activities, of importing and exporting goods to and fro Djiboutian port to amend the volatile economic situation in the country.

At the moment, South Sudan is heavily relying on the Sudan’s pipeline as its only option to export its crude oil to the international market through Port Sudan. South Sudan has become landlocked country after it broke away from the Sudan and became independent in 2011.

The country also depends on East African countries to import food commodities through Mombasa port and by land using trucks, thus, remitting billions of dollars to purchase merchandises.

On Monday this week, President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir met in his office in J1 with Vice President for Infrastructure Cluster, Taban Deng Gai to discuss matters pertaining infrastructural development in the country. 

During the meeting President Kiir directed Vice President Taban Deng Gai to visit Djibouti and explore ways that will allow South Sudan to use the Djiboutian seafaring.

“The President delegated Taban Deng Gai to represent him in Mogadishu at the swearing-in and inauguration ceremony of the newly elected President of Somalia,

“And directed him as well to go to Djibouti after visiting Somalia, regarding he usage of Djibouti port,” reads part of the statement posted on the Presidential Facebook page.

In his speech to the media after the meeting, VP Gai said he briefed President Kiir on ongoing road constructions, adding that though it’s sluggish but it’s a sure way to progress.

“The construction of roads across the country is progressing well though at a slow pace but the government is determined and dedicated to work on all the roads across the country,” VP Gai said.

Mr. Gai added that President Kiir assigned him to deliver a special message to the newly elected President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, confirming that the two countries have a cordial relation. 

Port Djibouti – is strategically located at crossroad of one of the busiest shipping routes in the world, linking Europe, the Far East, the Horn of Africa and the Persian Gulf.

The port serves as a key refueling and transshipment center, and is the principle maritime outlet for import to and export from neighboring Ethiopia, and an estimated 2,500 ships pass through and call through the port every day.

The meeting was also attended by minister of Presidential Affairs, Barnaba Marial Benjamin and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Deng Dau Deng.  

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