The Ethiopian government has reportedly decided on a scaling back of cargo import flows from the port of Djibouti to ease the congested supply line that now accounts for about 95 percent of Ethiopian-bound cargo traffic. According to reports quoted by some regional news outlets (https://www.garoweonline.com/en/world/africa/ethiopia-reduces-import-volume-in-port-of-djibouti), imports to Ethiopia handled through the port of Djibouti have already decreased by 14.62 percent over the past few months, while at the same time imports from the ports of Tadjoura (also in the State of Djibouti) and Berbera (in Somaliland) have increased, in addition to an increase in overland flows through the town of Moyale, along the border with Kenya.

The Ethiopian government’s decision would be attributed partly to the need to ease the burden on the congested Djibouti-Addis Ababa route and partly to the search for seaports characterized by lower cargo handling costs.

The Djibouti government, on the other hand, sent a delegation chaired by the port authority chairman, Aboubaker Omar Hadi, to Saudi Arabia on May 31 to hold talks in Riyadh with delegates from the local business community at the Federation of Saudi Chambers of Commerce(https://english.aawsat.com/home/article/3678156/djibouti-invites-saudis-invest-africa%E2%80%99s-largest-free-trade-zone). The talks centered on the Djibouti government’s invitation to local counterparts to invest in the free zones connected to the capital’s port, emphasizing the centrality of the Horn of Africa to reach inland regional African markets.

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