Please tell us a little about Africa Union Cargo’s work in Zambia.
The history of the Zambia Dry Port within the Port of Walvis Bay, Namibia dates back to when the Joint Commission on Cooperation on Transport and Communication proposed its establishment. This proposal was accepted by the Governments of Namibia and Zambia, and in March 2007 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two Governments on the allocation of land for this purpose.
In January 2009 Africa Union Financial Services (Pty) Limited (AUFS) was appointed by the Zambian Government to develop the Dry Port, and in April of the same year a fifty-year lease agreement was signed between Namport and AUFS.
Following the signature of the lease, AUFS Namibia was established to give a local presence to the lessee in July 2009; and the following month Africa Union Cargo (Pty) (Namibia) Limited was established to manage the development and operations of the facility.
There are several key goals in setting up the Zambia Dry Port, which Africa Union Cargo (AUC) is committed to supporting. This initiative represents an opportunity for Zambia to diversify from its traditional dependence on the ports of Dar-as-Salaam and Durban, and make use of a west coast port that is closer to Asian, European and American customers and suppliers. The facility lead to increased flows of cargo through Walvis Bay, which lead to the expansion of port activity and the stimulation of the local economy.
You work mainly across the Trans-Caprivi Corridor – Are there any specific challenges that you face with regards to the cross-border project? How does Africa Union Cargo work towards solving them?
Our main challenges we are facing is attributable to various factors e.g. we have to compete with local operating, clearing & forwarding, logistics companies. Most of the cargo only exported from Zambia and not many return loads back into Zambia this makes the transport cost more expensive than our competitive ports. Mine or cargo owners exporting raw or finished products/commodities are also in joint venture partners with the owner/seller/buyer of the cargo and thus making use of their own private warehouse facility. Our plan of action is to meet the mine/commodity owner in Zambia offer our platform within the Port of Walvis Bay and our joint venture partnership Port owner and operator in China as an End to End Sea Ports Warehousing Facilities.
As a sponsor of this year’s event, what will you be showcasing as a company?
We offer our platform within the Port of Walvis Bay and our joint venture partnership Port owner and operator in China as an End to End Sea Ports Warehousing Facilities.