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Port of Antwerp to temporarily manage port of Cotonou

Staff Writer |
Port of Antwerp International (PAI) has been appointed by the Council of Ministers of the West African country of Benin to modernise the port of Cotonou.

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This port is the economic heart of Benin, handling an annual freight volume of around 12 million tonnes. In the longer term, the port authority wants the port to grow further, but both the infrastructure and the organization are outdated. The government therefore decided to temporarily outsource the management of the port.

The importance of West Africa for the port of Antwerp can hardly be underestimated. Antwerp has the highest proportion of direct services to West Africa of all ports in Northwest Europe, which translates into a market share of almost 50%.

PAI is certainly not an unknown player in Benin. This investment subsidiary of Antwerp Port Authority already carried out various consultancy tasks in the port of Cotonou in 2017. The port has a strategic importance in the region, as it is also one of the main gateway ports for the sub-region, in particular the countries of Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali.

To further expand and strengthen this position, the government decided to temporarily outsource the management of the port, so that a reformed port authority could fully compete with the surrounding ports. After a selection procedure and negotiations, an agreement with PAI was reached.

PAI is a fully owned subsidiary of Antwerp Port Authority. Its core task is to exploit Antwerp’s knowhow and reputation around the world, by means of consultancy tasks, management tasks or the acquisition of participations.


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