African dredging boom expected

Ghana Port. Credit: Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority

Population growth in Africa’s coastal areas, increasing demand for offshore oil and gas, and the construction of new ports and maintenance works on existing ones are expected to drive the continent’s dredging industry forward

With at least one-third of the population in West Africa living in coastal areas, which according to the World Bank, loses more than USD3.8 billion income annually to erosion, flooding, and pollution, dredging has become necessary not only because of the need to avert climate change-related effects triggered by rising sea levels, but also to boost the production efficiency of ports, fisheries, and offshore oil and gas operations, all of which contribute nearly 42% to the sub-region’s economy.

With Africa’s economic growth projected to reach 3.9% in 2022 – up from the 2.6% reported in 2017 – as the region’s trade with the rest of the world increases, so is the demand for bigger ports to accommodate larger vessels likely to grow. Hence the ongoing and planned port expansion and maintenance across Africa to, among other reasons, enable post-Panamax 1,800 teu container vessels to enter the continent’s major gateways.

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