(Business in Cameroon) - Centre d’analyses et de recherche sur les politiques économiques et sociales (Camercap), a think tank affiliated to Cameroon’s government, recently published a study on the optimization of first-generation structuring projects initiated by the country. Among these projects studied by the think tank is Kribi deepwater port operated in South Cameroon since 2018.
Camercap indicates that the port will face strong competition from West African peers in Dakar, Lomé, Cotonou, Abidjan, Lagos and Apapa. However, the think tank writes, Kribi port has a comparative edge over some of its competitors. One of the advantages is the 16.1 meters draught (well above the standard 14.5 meters) that will allow larger vessels to dock.
This is not the case with many ports in the sub-region. Fort instance, the port in Pointe-Noire (Congo Brazzaville), which is well-positioned, only has an 11.5 meters draught.
The port of Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) that has great ambitions plans to increase its draught from 11.5 meters to 13.5 meters but, larger vessels can not dock because of the narrowness of Canal Vridi, which separates the port from the sea.
The port of Dakar (Senegal) with its 13 meters draught could be a serious competitor but its proximity with Tanger can reduce the volume of transhipping it handles.
According to Camercap, Kribi port is different from its competitors thanks to its quay, which is much higher than those competitors’.
However, according to the think tank, Kribi port must multiply serving areas around the continent to be highly competitive. For instance, it can build a railway linking Ngaoundéré (Cameroon) to Moundou (Chad), the Central African Republic and Sudan.