With the African continent’s ports growing, so are concerns regarding the environmental impact of port expansions
The United Nations (UN) predicts a 3.4% economic growth for Africa in 2019, up from the 3.2% posted last year, a trend expected to trigger increased intra-regional and international trade pressuring the continent’s port operators to explore options of accommodating the likely surge in captive, transit, and transshipment cargo.
This year’s predicted economic growth for Africa keeps in line with previous years’ performance where some countries’ growth rates have not only surpassed global average projections but also created demand for deeper and bigger ports to cater for increasing global demand of Africa’s products, growing private consumption, increasing investments in infrastructure, and rising oil production, particularly due to new onshore and offshore oil and gas field discoveries and development.
Some of these ports are strategically located, and their operators have in recent years been attempting, with various levels of success, on transforming them into regional maritime hubs through deepening to accommodate larger cargo vessels, creating additional land by extending into the sea, and installing modern port equipment and storage facilities on the new reclaimed land.
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