Ports are important to economic development, not only because they accelerate the rate of international trade but also create employment and generate revenue.
Africa is blessed with an abundance of natural resources but still lags behind in terms of economic development. International trade presents an opportunity to catch up with the rest of the world and ensure steady economic growth. Africa has over 100 port facilities but only a few of those facilities handle significant amounts of traffic.
This list contains the top 5 busiest port facilities on the continent.
Port of Durban, South Africa
The Port of Durban, commonly called Durban Harbour, is the largest and busiest shipping terminal in sub-Saharan Africa and the second largest port container in the whole of Africa. The port has 58 berths which are operated by more than 20 terminal operators. It conducts trade worth over $45 billion. The 21 kilometres port handles up to 31.4 million tons of cargo from 4,500 commercial vessels each year.
Port De Djibouti, Djibouti
The Port of Djibouti is a port in Djibouti City, the capital of Djibouti. It is strategically located at the crossroads of one of the busiest shipping routes in the world, linking 19 countries, including those in Europe, the Far East, the Horn of Africa and the Persian Gulf. The terminal is already handling almost 1.6 million twenty-foot equivalent units, and an extension, named The Port of Doraleh which is under construction will relieve congestion at the original Port, adding 29 million tons of annual capacity.
Port of Lagos, Nigeria
The Lagos Port is a major container terminal located in Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria. Operations are carried out in two locations – Apapa and Tin Can port which is adjacent to the former. According to the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics, both ports handle over 17 million and 14 million metric tons of cargo respectively.
Port of Mombasa, Kenya
The port of Mombasa is the Principal Kenyan seaport. The Port of Mombasa not only serves Kenya but is also the main gateway to its Eastern African neighbouring countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC and Southern Sudan. The port handles around 1.1 million containers, and with a new terminal being constructed, that number is expected to rise to 1.5 million.
Port of Tema, Ghana
The harbour is located in the southeastern part of Ghana, along the Gulf of Guinea. It serves both as a loading and unloading port for goods.It also handles trade for industrial and commercial companies that import and export various goods such as petroleum, cement, food, metals, textiles.The Port of Tema handles 80% of Tema’s annual container volume.