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African Development Bank to Create African Ports Index

Worker at Apapa port
Luderitz, Namibia (iStock)

Published Dec 17, 2023 11:53 AM by The Maritime Executive

The Beijing-based infrastructure fund Multilateral Cooperation Center for Development Finance (MCDF) has approved a $2 million grant aimed at sealing data gaps in Africa’s port operations. The initiative will be implemented by the African Development Bank (AfDB), and will produce a port data book that provides performance data and practical information for Africa’s ports.

According to MCDF, addressing Africa’s data gaps in port operations is key in facilitating investment in port expansion, and would also help to boost port performance.

In addition, the project will create a web-based portal for securely collecting, storing and retrieving African port data. This will help the Regional Ports Management Association, AfDB, individual port authorities and development partners assess port service and performance.

An African ports index with benchmarking sub-indices that cover key thematic areas in port operations and development will also be produced. The index will contain data on port performance, efficiency, legal and regulatory frameworks, cargo type and throughput among others.

“The African Development Bank has identified the African Ports Connectivity Portal as a key driver to unlock Africa’s ports and maritime development needs into investment opportunities by 2030,” said Marco Yamaguchi, Transport and Logistics Manager at AfDB.

In the past decade, the use of maritime business intelligence tools such as shipping indices have become commonplace. These advanced analytics have been vital for enabling decision-making on investment, risk management and business optimization in the maritime industry.