Corridor Group eyes Chinese market

Chamwe Kaira

The Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) recently an excellent performance for the 2022/23 financial year. This saw corridor cargo volumes entering and leaving the hinterland increasing by 50% year-on-year, climbing from 1 639 510 tonnes to 2 464 123 tonnes.

The corridor uses the ports of Walvis Bay and Lüderitz, going to and coming from the target markets of Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Malawi, South Africa, Zambia as well as Zimbabwe.

The financial year the South African market grew with 42%, from 771 852 tonnes to 1 093 569 tonnes.

In addition, DRC and Zambian markets have grown by 33% and 40%, respectively from 243 029 tonnes to 324 151 tonnes and 363 621 tonnes to 510 323 tonnes for both markets.

The WBCG headquartered in Windhoek with offices in Johannesburg, Lusaka, Lubumbashi and São Paolo.

This week Mbahupu Hippy Tjivikua, the Chief Executive Officer talks about future targets and some of the challenges facing the group.

Observer Money (OM): Corridor volumes increased to 2 464123 tonnes in 2022/23 FY, what are the plans for future expansion, what are future targets?

Mbahupu Hippy Tjivikua (MHJ): In line with our current Strategic Plan, we aim to increase cargo volumes to and from the hinterlands and to enhance our Trade Facilitation initiatives in order to achieve our vision of becoming the preferred trade route for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region.

(OM): Are there any new products that are earmarked for import and export apart from the usual products like copper?

(MHJ): The Port has sufficient capacity to accommodate more cargo and would appreciate any opportunities for increased commodities.

(OM): Is the group planning to add to other countries in South America apart from Brazil?(MHJ): We have not identified any new markets in South America, however we are looking at China as a potential market in Asia.

(OM): How has the expansion of Walvis Bay helped the growth of Namibian corridors?

(MHJ): The construction of the new container terminal has created an opportunity to convert the old terminal for bulk and break bulk commodities. Whilst with the new terminal, plans are underway to increase the transshipment.(OM): What are some of the challenges facing the corridor group?

(MHJ): At this juncture, the WBCG enjoys the status of being the best Corridor Management Institution within African. We are proud of the significant achievements made over the years, which is embedded in this sterling performance for the 2022/2023 financial year. Given our successful track record, the WBCG has been mandated by the Government Republic of Namibia to be the implementing agency for realising Namibia’s Vision of becoming the preferred Logistics Hub in Southern Africa.

(OM): Does the group know when the Zambian government will renovate Sesheke Road, which links Zambia and Namibia?

(MHJ): No, the WBCG is not aware of the Zambian Government’s plans.

(OM): Is there anything else that you may wish to add?

(MHJ): We have covered all relevant information requested.

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