The Government of South Sudan has purchased land at Djibouti port where it is planning to set up its own harbour.
The country has bought three acres of land which are located at the port of Djibouti for the construction of the facility that will handle its import and export goods.
“We have been only using Port Sudan and Mombasa but recently, we have decided to go to Djibouti and as I am speaking to you, we have land in Djibouti,” South Sudan Minister for Petroleum Puot Kang Chol said.
Chol added that they were ready to facilitate and stock goods destined for South Sudan through Djibouti. “If any of you have goods, and you want to bring them through Djibouti, we have a land, we will have a space for you to accommodate your materials [or] whatever you want to bring,” he said.
This will hugely impact Kenya with the port of Mombasa set to lose 1.1 million tonnes of cargo that is handled for South Sudan.
Currently, South Sudan is second after Uganda in the use of Mombasa port, accounting for 9.9 per cent of transit volumes.
Uganda accounts for 83 per cent of all throughput cargo followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania and Rwanda at 7.2 per cent, 3.2 per cent and 2.4 per cent, respectively.
This is the latest effort by the country to move away from the port of Mombasa. In July 2022, South Sudan traders announced plans to quit using Mombasa Port. The traders said they would instead start using the port of Djibouti, which they said presented them with a shorter route.
“We are in talks with Djibouti authorities so that we can connect Djibouti, Ethiopia, and South Sudan to use Djibouti port through Ethiopia,” deputy chairperson for Chamber of Commerce in South Sudan Lado Lukak Legge was quoted saying by the media in Sudan.
He cited that Djibouti is more economical for South Sudan in comparison to Kenya’s primary port.
“Djibouti is near to South Sudan compared to Mombasa port in Kenya and the government of Djibouti is willing to strengthen trade ties with South Sudan and Ethiopia,” he said.
Already, a number of shippers have been avoiding the Northern Corridor, that runs from Kenya. The northern corridor is 1,700 kilometres long
This corridor connects cargo from the port of Mombasa to Juba, Kigali, Kampala as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The shippers are now preferring to use the Central Corridor to transport their cargo which is shorter by up to 400 kilometers.
The Central Corridor is a 1,300km route. It starts at the port of Dar es Salaam and serves Tanzania, Zambia, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Eastern DRC.