ZANZIBAR: A FRENCH firm, African Global Logistics (AGL) will officially start managing operations of Malindi Port on Monday.
This followed the signing of agreement between Zanzibar government through its Ministry of Infrastructure, Communication and Transport and AGL in May to manage operations at Malindi seaport.
The Director General of Zanzibar Ports Corporation (ZPC) Mr Nahaat Mohamed Mahfoudh said here yesterday that preparations were at advanced stage for the handover of activities at the port, the main entry point handling international trade for the Indian Ocean archipelago of Zanzibar.
AGL, a multimodal logistics operator, would manage the Zanzibar’s main seaport at Malindi, he said noting that other small ports will remain under ZPC.
“It is a five-year agreement with AGL. The seaport has not been sold, the government just wants efficiency, and improved services at the Malindi Port. We hope to reduce ship dwelling time, speed up clearance of containers, and improve revenue collection,” said Mr Mahfoudh.
He dismissed as untrue circulating reports claiming there will be retrenchment of workers at the Malindi Port and insisted that all workers will remain, but must adopt to a new culture of work, increase trust, and work harder to the satisfaction of the new management.
“The current revenue collection at the port is about 4.0 to 4.6bn/- per month. It is cyclical depending on the season. Fasting period (Holy Month of Ramadhan) and December are our peak months. The handling capacity of the port is around 80,000 tonnes of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) annually,” Mr Mahfoudh said, adding that under the AGL management, the figures are expected to double or triple.
According to the agreement, the Zanzibar government will get 30 per cent of the revenue collection and 70 per cent is for AGL, which will also be responsible for all running costs.
In May this year, Zanzibar Minister of Infrastructure, Communication and Transport Dr Khalid Salum Mohamed witnessed the signing of the agreement by Tony Stenning, Regional Director of Southern Africa at AGL, and Nahaat Mahfoud, CEO of ZPC, for the management of the container terminal at the Malindi Port.
AGL will be responsible for cargo handling operations and maritime services at the country’s main port infrastructure. The company is committed to implementing an investment programme for the modernisation and development of the port of Malindi. AGL also plans to construct a depot zone outside the port to alleviate congestion.
“We are going beyond operational improvements at this port, as we are determined to invest in its development, attract a greater variety of maritime lines, and stimulate trade volumes,” said Tony Stenning, Regional Director of Southern Africa at AGL (Africa Global Logistics).
He said the agreement will enable Zanzibar to have a modern infrastructure capable of ensuring imports and exports in conditions of quality, security, and safety that comply with international standards, thanks to AGL’s experience in port terminal management.
“The signing of this contract confirms our commitment to continue developing our portfolio of port concessions in Africa. It is a great opportunity for us and our partners in Zanzibar to develop the port of Malindi and make it the gateway to Zanzibar,” said Olivier de Noray, CEO of Ports & Terminals of AGL.
AGL’s new presence will preserve all existing direct jobs and create hundreds of indirect employment opportunities for the residents of Zanzibar. Training and the development of skills for local talent are among the commitments made by AGL.
The AGL is the reference multimodal logistics operator (port, logistics, sea and rail) in Africa. The company is now part of the MSC Group, a leading shipping and logistics group. Having developed its expertise over more than a century and with more than 21,000 employees working in 49 countries.