The African Union Integrated Maritime Strategy paper views the continent’s vast shipping sector as “the new frontier for Africa’s renaissance” with 90% of the import and export in the continent being transported by sea. The continent may, however, sacrifice growth because of insufficient port terminal infrastructure due to constrained government means and unawareness of alternative vehicles to finance its maritime development. This paper investigates the factors implicit to port project investments and the readiness of private sector to participate in port development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sixty port projects executed in the region as listed in the World Bank database on Private Participation in Infrastructures (PPI) between 1990 and 2018 are analyzed to determine relationships between the project characteristics and the project’s total investment. Univariate linear models are applied through SPSS and the descriptive statistics and tests of between-subject effects interpreted. The study concludes that Sub-Saharan African ports are generally underdeveloped with rare new port establishments and very few port renovation projects. The low port infrastructures in the region do not differ across country income groups. Port projects are mostly funded through the private sector. Competitive bidding and negotiations are preferred in awarding those contracts apart from the few large projects that were awarded through direct negotiations. That is problematic and needs to be escaped because direct negotiations could lead to inefficient and ineffective choice of the financing. Most projects attract unsolicited proposals apart from the few large ones, which underpin the readiness of the private investor to participate in port and maritime economic development in the region. The paper concludes that the problem of low ports development in the region is a problem of lack of bankable projects and not lack of financing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIAME2019 Conference Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationSignificant issues of the maritime industry and the future: The role of the industry in a global transportation system, as part of a world sustainable economy, and related ship finance issues.
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2019
EventIAME annual conference - ATHENS, Athens, Greece
Duration: 25 Jun 201928 Jun 2019


ConferenceIAME annual conference

    Research areas

  • Infrastructure Financing, African Infrastructure Financing Trends, Private Participation in Infrastructure, Port Project Financing in Sub-Saharan Africa

ID: 46742445