Ethiopia’s need for a port despite its landlocked state has heightened in the last few days as Addis Ababa has announced a second port deal in as many days.
Earlier this week Ethiopia said it was going to take a stake in the Port of Djibouti following an official visit to the country by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
Abiy returned home and headed to Sudan – his second trip outside of the country. In Khartoum, a senior foreign affairs official disclosed that Ethiopia was set to take a stake in Port Sudan as well.
“The leaders of both countries agreed to develop Port Sudan together,” said Meles Alem, spokesman of Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry. “This deal entails that Ethiopia will be a shareholder as well,” he told Reuters.
The two leaders also agreed on turning the town of Assosa into a commercial centre, building a new railway line and releasing the Ethiopian citizens detained in Sudan.
Ethiopia is an economic leader in the Horn of Africa region and according to the World Bank. An International Monetary Fund (IMF) report said Ethiopia will be the fastest growing economy on the continent in 2018.
The Port of Djibouti handles roughly 95 percent of all inbound trade for landlocked Ethiopia.