Morocco Establishes Biggest Automated Container Port In Africa
By Muhammad Bello
In a deliberate attempt to set a record, Morocco has established the biggest container port within the Mediterranean and the first of its kind in the African Continent.
Speaking on the port, the Chief Executive Officer of Tanger Med Special Agency, the Project Coordinator Fouad Brini said the platform was developed under levers for the highest international standards and powerful hub for the competitiveness of the Moroccan economy land.
Speaking on the endorsement of the project by Morocco’s King Mohammed VI over 10 years ago, Brini said: “His Majesty the king enlightened decision to launch the studies and the works of Tanger Med port 2, at the end of the last decade, at a time when the most advanced economies were in crisis or driven by doubts, has allowed Tanger Med to triple its capacity from 3 to 9 million containers per year.
“Today, while this truly constitutes a pride, Tanger Med is the first port capacity in the Mediterranean. Twelve years have elapsed since the project officially started, and the innovative governance model of the Tanger Med Special Agency is regularly quoted among international best practices, as integrated project and particularly in terms of PPP and synergy industrial port.
“To date, more than 88 billion dirhams have been invested, 53 billion of which by private operators. The Tanger Med port has contributed to position Morocco in the international maritime scene, connecting it to 77 countries and 186 ports
“This has allowed Morocco to rise from the 83rd to the 17th word rank worldwide, according to the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD). With regards to Port operations, Tanger Med 1 has processed 3,4 million containers in 2018, which represents an exceptional productivity and position, becoming the first port in Africa followed by Port Said on the Suez Canal, and Durban in South Africa. Moreover, Tanger Med is the port for import export in the Kingdom, with an overall traffic valued at 317 billion dirhams in 2018.”
Also speaking in the same vein, Tanger Med Communication Manager, Meriem Fares said the project is the fruit of the royal vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI set out in his 2003 speech to make Tanger Med “an integrated regional development model”.
She said: “Tanger Med consolidates the anchoring of the Kingdom of Morocco in the Euro-Mediterranean area and values its vocation as pole of exchanges between Europe and Africa, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, and strengthens, at the same time, its central role as an active partner in international trade and well-integrated with the global economy.
“Tanger Med complex is today the achievement of a royal ambition, voluntarist and visionary. The implantation site wanted by His Majesty the King for this project, at the crossroads of maritime routes has proved right and relevant “said Mr. Fouad BRINI, President of Tanger Med. Indeed, Tanger Med is located on the Strait of Gibraltar at the crossroads of the major maritime routes East / West and North / South connecting Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa.
Ms. Rajae Elayachi, the Container Activity Manager at the site said Tanger Med is strategically located within 14Km from Europe while it is situated in Africa bridging two great continents and connected weekly to 186 Ports and 77 countries.
She said: “Today Africa is our first market, as we exchange about 40% of the Container Traffic, so Nigeria like other countries in Africa benefits from the good transit time of the Cargo that actually transit from the Tanger Med to these African Countries.”
Ms Juliane Furman, General Manager for Europe Exco Company said As a representative of automotive interior and seating suppliers which are produced in Europe, we find the location of the port as strategic for our businesses.
Tanger Med (also written as Tangier Med) is a Moroccan cargo port located on the Strait of Gibraltar about 40 km east of Tangier, Morocco. It is the largest port on the Mediterranean and in Africa by capacity and went into service in July 2007. Its initial capacity was 3.5 million shipping containers.
Apart from being the biggest port in Africa, it is highly automated – the first automated terminal of its kind in the continent that handle the latest generation of container ships with maximum capacities and less manual and human activities.
The project is a strategic priority of the Moroccan government for the economic and social development of the North Morocco region. It is part of the economic policy orienting Morocco towards exports, based on eight clearly identified export sectors, with particular emphasis on the free trade agreement with the European Union to be implemented by 2012.
Muhammad Bello is an international journalist based in Nigeria