Terminal operator SIFAX said it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Gambia to build and operate a dry port in the country’s capital, Banjul.
SIFAX Group Executive Vice Chairman, Taiwo Afolabi, said on Wednesday that the MOU was signed in Banjul by Mr John Jenkins, SIFAX Group Managing Director and Mr Abdoulie Tambedou, Managing Director, Gambia Ports Authority (GPA).
According to him, a dry port (sometimes inland port) is an inland intermodal terminal directly connected by road or rail to a seaport and operating as a centre for the transshipment of sea cargo to inland destinations.
He said that the SIFAX group deligation also met with the Gambian President Adama Barrow, where prospects of extending the company’s investment plan to other sectors of the country’s economy was discussed.
Afolabi said that the terms of the MOU included a multi-million dollar investment for the building and operations of the dry port to decongest the Port of Banjul in a public-private partnership model.
He added that SIFAX Group would not only open up Gambia’s economy but would also build and operate a world-class inland container terminal.
Afolabi said: “SIFAX Group believes in making Africa the focus of its investment hub.
“We are of the view that Africans stand a better chance to sincerely develop and tap the array of business and growth opportunities that abound in the continent.
“We have been doing this in some West African countries and we are sincerely grateful to the president for opening the doors of The Gambia to us.
“Our promise is that the country’s economy will feel our impact as we don’t intend to limit our interventions to the maritime sector alone. We have identified other areas we will be willing to invest in the nearest future.”
On his part, Jenkins assured that the company would rely heavily on its 30-year-old business experience acquired working in various sectors and countries to turn around the country’s maritime sector.
“We are delighted as a company to begin this journey of investing in Gambia.
“As a company, we have a record of success in all the sectors and countries we operate.
” We will bring our experience and expertise to bear in the running of the dry port.
“The project will help in decongesting the Port of Banjul, create employment for the people of Gambia and make the port very profitable and competitive.
“These are some of the values SIFAX Group will bring to the table,” Jenkins said in a statement signed by SIFAX Spokesman, Muyiwa Akande.
Earlier, President Barrow thanked the delegation for choosing Gambia for nvestment, adding that the country needed a lot of local ànd foreign investment to grow the economy.
He promised to provide the necessary enabling environment for SIFAX Group and other foreign investors to thrive.