Benin Seeks Dutch Expertise on Port de Cotonou Project

Port of Amsterdam International (PoAI) has been contracted by the Netherlands Embassy in Benin to help revitalise the Port of Cotonou in the West African nation of Benin.

PoAI will assist the Netherlands Embassy in developing a strategic master plan in conjunction with an action plan and technical specifications for the port’s renovation and restructuring operation. PoAI will be sharing its expertise and assist with the organisational and technical structuring, monitoring, quality control and support onsite, in which it will be working closely with its network of Dutch and other international partners.

PoAI Director Gert-Jan Nieuwenhuizen said: ”This project will eventually result in a master plan and implementation plan that will transform and restructure the Port of Cotonou in order to facilitate its growth and drive the Benin economy. PoAI is focusing on West Africa on account of its existing trading relationship with this region. Port of Amsterdam is a major cocoa port that receives very large volumes of cocoa shipments from West Africa.”

Already serving as a major West African port, the Port Autonome de Cotonou (PAC) has the potential to develop into a regional hub. Transhipment currently exceeds six million tonnes annually, with the port looking to raise these volumes to around twenty million tonnes. Besides serving Benin itself, the port also supports several neighbouring countries, including Nigeria, and is also the closest port for countries such as Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.

The Port of Cotonou, currently accounting for 60% of GDP and vitally important to the Benin economy, is held back by outdated facilities, major congestion problems and a shortage of quay space and is unable to achieve its growth objectives in its current condition.

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