DP World signs MoU with Namibia’s Nara Namib to develop Walvis Bay free economic zone

DP World signs MoU with Namibia’s Nara Namib to develop Walvis Bay free economic zone
Suhail Al Banna, CEO and Managing Director - Middle East and Africa at DP World, with Titus Nakuumba, Executive Director at Nara Namib Free Economic Industrial Zone

DP World has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Namibia’s Nara Namib Free Economic Industrial Zone today to develop a free economic zone for industry and logistics in Walvis Bay.

The facility at Walvis Bay will provide businesses with development-ready land for industrial and logistics operations, pre-built warehouses and office accommodation.

A gross developed area of 50 ha will make up the first phase, with expansion opportunities up to 1,500 ha, and the parties has set the second quarter of 2020 as the target date for reaching a definitive agreement on the project.

The development of the first 50 ha of the zone has the potential to create 3,000 jobs and help attract investment to Namibia of N$3.5bn (US$237m) while expansion to 1,500 ha is expected to increase the potential investment to N$25bn (US$1.7bn) with 20,000 job opportunities.

The aim is to support the growth of Namibia as a regional hub for Southern Africa and to create opportunities and jobs across multiple sectors including agriculture, fishing, automotive and mining.

Suhail Al Banna, CEO and managing director for Middle East and Africa at DP World, said: “We believe the country has great potential to expand its role as a hub for the region. The Namibian government’s recent legislation on free zones and efforts to facilitate greater business provides an attractive environment for investment.”

Developing a hub in Walvis Bay is expected to support Namibia by increasing trade flows with surrounding markets such as Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi and South Africa.

Namibia is in a prime location on the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Corridor.

DP World has plans to utilise its expertise and track record in establishing and operating some of the world’s leading ports, logistical parks and free zones with integrated railways and trucking.

Andre Olivier of Nara Namib said: “Today’s MoU brings us a step closer to fulfilling Namibia’s vast trade and economic development prospects, and we look forward to benefiting from DP World’s global expertise and network…”

DP World’s potential expansion in Namibia complements its presence in other key African nations including Senegal, Rwanda, Mozambique, Egypt, Algeria and Somaliland.