The CDC said on Tuesday it would allocate about £ 515,000 to upgrade and expand the three ports of Sokna in the Red Sea, Dakar in the Atlantic and Berbera in the Gulf of Aden.
The remaining £ 710,000 ($ 1 billion) will be invested by Dubai-based DP World logistics group as part of the companies’ “long-term partnership to accelerate Africa’s long-term trade potential”.
“Partnership will help eliminate acute imbalances in global trade”
The CDC and DP World said in a joint statement that the partnership would “help unbalance global trade by supporting the modernization and expansion of ports and domestic logistics in Africa.”
The companies said the investment would create 138,000 jobs and support 5 million more indirectly in the Sahel and Horn of Africa.
Western governments, including the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, are intense geo-strategic competitive theaters to compete with Chinese, Russian, and Middle Eastern powers in both areas, to provide investment and security assistance.
The expanded port in Berbera will try to capture some of the trade traffic from Ethiopia, Africa’s largest industrialized economy.
Most of Ethiopia’s trade passes through the neighboring port of Djibouti, which currently hosts both Chinese and American military bases. The Chinese railway from Addis Ababa to Djibouti was opened in 2018.
The announcement comes four months after Britain accepted a call from the United States to invest in developing countries in response to “strategic competition from China,” which diplomats said was part of a strategy to challenge “evil actors” on the continent.
‘Infrastructure investment is key to winning the fight for economic influence’
A Foreign Ministry source said: “The foreign minister believes that more infrastructure investment in developing countries will help against authoritarian regimes. As a result, we need to win the fight for economic influence and see infrastructure investment as a key part of this plan, along with closer trade. technical relations. “
“We need to give more countries the opportunity to build closer economic ties with democracies so that they don’t fall into the hands of malicious actors. We want to work with like-minded people to advance this ambition.”
More than 100 countries have signed China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a multi-trillion-dollar foreign development program launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013.
The Chinese project supports investment in ports, roads, railways and other infrastructure in Asia and Europe and Africa, but is seen as a means to expand Beijing’s geopolitical influence in many Western capitals.