Africa in the news: DRC Inga dam agreement and Somaliland port expansion

Muse Bihi Abdi, of Somaliland and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DP World, attend the signing ceremony of expansion project of Berbera port in Hargeysa, in northern Somalia's semi-autonomous Somaliland region, October 11, 2018. Picture taken October 11, 2018. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri - RC1DA84468C0

Inga 3 agreement signed in the democratic republic of congo and Congolese citizens expelled from Angola

This week, the Democratic Republic of Congo signed a deal with a consortium of Chinese and European companies to move forward with the Inga dam project. The Inga 3 project is expected to produce 11,000 megawatts of power when completed and will be the largest hydropower project on the continent. Currently, the Chinese-Spanish group developing the project is expected to secure funding for its construction, which is likely to cost around $18 billion. Following this deal, the companies will conduct a new round of impact studies before developing a final proposal for construction. Construction is expected to take six to seven years. The project, first launched in 2010, has faced repeated delays.

In other news, this week, the DRC government accused Angola of violently expelling Congolese citizens working in the artisanal diamond mining industry there. DRC officials said that dozens of Congolese citizens were killed during the expulsion, with the DRC foreign minister calling on Angola “to conduct a comprehensive investigation” to determine responsibility. The current crackdown is part of an effort to more aggressively tackle diamond smuggling and increase government revenues from the industry.

DP World to expand Somaliland port

Last week, DP World, a Dubai state-owned port operator, signed a deal with the government of Somaliland to develop the Berbera port. The initial phase of the work will see a $101 million investment and include upgrades to port infrastructure and the development of a special economic zone. The investment will also improve road links from the port to Ethiopia, which is expected to be a key source of shipping activity. DP World will invest a total of $442 million including the second phase of development, which will triple the port’s capacity. DP World has 51 percent ownership of the Berbera port while governments of Ethiopia and Somaliland own the rest. DP World’s investment in Berbera is happening as the company continues to challenge in court Djibouti’s seizure of the Doraleh port earlier this year.