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How a Port Expansion in a Tiny, Self-Declared African Country Reverberates Around the World

File image of the Berbera port in Somaliland. MUSTAFA SAEED / AFP

One of the key discussions in the run-up to the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit is whether China is stepping away from funding large-scale infrastructure projects like roads and ports. 

So it was particularly interesting to see the announcement this week of a massive new investment in African ports by…the UK. The country’s development investment arm CDC Group announced the biggest single investment in its 73-year history, in port facilities in Africa. Its initial $320 million investment will fund the expansion of three ports: Dakar, Senegal [also where FOCAC is taking place], Sokhna on Egypt’s Red Sea coast, and Berbera in the self-declared state of Somaliland. A further $400 million will go into future dry ports and logistics operations.

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