What really amazes me is how a group of businessmen could transform a beach into a port, and then outcompete real deep-sea ports in Somalia.
Ceel macaan port aptly illustrates the paradoxical situation which Somalia has witnessed since 1991: Economic transformation after state collapse.
It also illustrates the economic potential of Somali entrepeneurs when given the space they will achieve the unthinkable:
El Ma’an seaport: a joint venture
60. Notwithstanding the lack of an effective central Government, and in spite of
the insecurity caused by the pirate groups off the coast of Somalia, maritime trade is
thriving. Cargo ships laden with all types of foodstuffs, clothing, hardware items,
oils and lubricants, fuel, building materials and electronic goods, arrive regularly at
Somali seaports. Somali businessmen have links with traders in South America,
China, India, the Far East, the Middle East, Mediterranean countries and East and
Southern African countries.
61. Major seaports in Somalia are Berbera, Bossaso, El Ma’an, Kismaayo and
Marka. Berbera is operated by the Somaliland administration, while Bossaso is
operated by the Puntland administration. Mogadishu, one of the more developed
ports with alongside berths, has not been in use since 1995, due to infighting by
rival factions trying to maintain or gain control of the port. Kismaayo and Marka are
under the control of local administrations and are run as private port businesses
from which a considerable amount of unregulated income is generated.
62. In the course of its investigation, the Monitoring Group obtained the following
information outlining 2004 statistics for inbound cargo for the major Somali
seaports: El Ma’an — 2 million metric tons; Berbera — 552,000 metric tons;
Bossaso — 368,000 metric tons; and Kismaayo — more than 3,000 metric tons.
63. Businessmen intending to conduct business at a seaport operated by a local
administration must establish a financial arrangement with the local administration
in order to ensure the safety of an arriving ship and its cargo and crew. The
arrangement must normally be made before the transport of cargo to a Somali port
of call begins. An advance payment is required and includes safety fees that range
upwards from $50,000 per ship. Other fees are required upon the arrival of a ship at
the port and may include those for marine services, port charges, cargo handling and
road transport and hiring of barges, tugs and stevedores. This financial arrangement
is essential because commercial insurance companies are unwilling to underwrite
the risks involved in maritime operations in Somali waters.
El Ma’an seaport
64. Unlike other seaports in Somalia that are administered by local
administrations, the three business cartels referred to above jointly own, manage and
operate the seaport of El Ma’an, located about 45 kilometres north of Mogadishu.
Each of the cartels owns one third of the shares of the seaport. The cartels also own
a combination of maritime and inland transport businesses and freight-forwarding,
stevedoring, cargo-shipping, fuel supply, general trading and construction
businesses. There are about 320 staff working at the seaport who are directly
involved in offloading commodities. The port’s physical assets consists of 6
tugboats, 340 other types of boats and 310 trucks with varying cargo capacities.
65. The revenues at the seaport are collected separately by the three business
cartels: one cartel gathers revenues accrued from land transport business, the second
is in charge of receiving income from the tugboat operation and the third receives
the fees from anchorage rights and other fees and commissions. http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/at ... 006229.pdf