Thursday, December 6, 2012

■ SENEGAL: Project to twin Casablanca and Dakar as regional cargo hubs progresses.

SenegalA project aimed at streamlining trade relations and partnerships between Morocco and Senegal could soon become a reality. A project, initiated by the Moroccan Airports Authority (Office National Des Aéroports (ONDA)) that could see Dakar Senegal becoming a possible cargo feeder hub to Casablanca's Mohammed V International Airport, is at last, moving forward, with an outline of the project now on the table.

Air Cargo Dakar - Casablanca
Proposed by Moroccan Minster of Minister of Equipment and Transport, Abdelaziz Rabbah, during his tenure as head of the Moroccan delegation to the International Exhibition of Solutions for Transport and Logistics in 2011, negotiations between the ONDA and the Senegalese Ministry of Equipment and Transport centered on the need to establish the framework necessary for the delivery of goods from the African continent to various cities in Morocco, via the two "airport hubs" set to be Casablanca and Dakar. 

According to Moroccan paper, Les Echos, "goods from Senegal will be delivered throughout Morocco via a coordinated logistical plan incorporating air and road freight." More precisely, Senegalese exports (and other exports from the African continent arriving in and funnelled through Dakar) to Morocco, would arrive at Casablanca's Mohammed V Airport before being transported by rail or road to Rabat, Tangier, Marrakech or Agadir. 

The investment however, will not be a cheap one, as Morocco has warned that its rail and road infrastructure will have to be upgraded in order to handle the envisioned upsurge in cargo traffic, estimated to triple by 2027.

As Morocco's strongest trading partner, the European Union's economy stumbles from one crisis to the next, the Maghreb region is increasingly looking to its southern neighbours as sources of added revenue and new markets.