The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Félix Tshisekedi, and the regional director for Africa of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) port operator Dubai Ports (DP) World had a discussion session on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, which focused on the readjustment of the relative convention for the construction of the Banana deep water port.
The initial agreement for the Banana deep-water port project in central Kongo dates back to 2018 when a contract was signed between DP World and former Congolese head of state, Joseph Kabila. According to the contract the UAE company would own a 70% stake in the project, with the government owning the remaining 30%.
Expected to begin the same year (2018) and be operational within two years, the project could also be subject to a 20-year extension.
The aftermath of the recent discussions
The revised version of the original agreement (which expired on March 23, last year) reconsiders the interests of each party to the contract and helps to rebalance their respective benefits.
According to the Congolese president “this approach was dictated by the need to readjust the Agreement with the Emirati company DP World Africa Logistics NV (DP World) to his vision so that this project can develop capacities of the Democratic Republic of Congo in terms of trade and logistics while supporting the country’s growth and playing a key role in regional integration”.
The future autonomous port of Banana, whose concession had been entrusted to the Emirati group DP World for 30 years of operation, should require an investment estimated at US$ 1bn. Upon completion, it will be the first deep-water port in the central African country.