Doha to Build a Port in Hobyo
According to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications of Qatar, the country is about to begin an investment partnership with Somalia. The announcement was made after the foreign minister of Qatar a delegation from Qatar alongside the foreign minister of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, met with the prime minister of Somalia in Mogadishu.
A Strategic Investment
Qatar intends to construct a new seaport in Hobyo, Somalia. Considering it is located in an area in East Africa with a history of being fought over by rivals in the Gulf, this could be a strategic investment. Hobyo is located in the central Muduq and is known as a vital Somali port because of its closeness to one of the most significant ocean crossing areas around the globe, Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. By strategically using this location, access to markets around the world is made possible.
The construction will be undertaken by Qatar Ports Management Company putting the country in the lead against fellow United Arab Emirates state Saudi Arabia for a foothold along the key shipping routes along the Horn of Africa. The project will also open a range of new opportunities for the two countries to work together and boost Somalia’s commercial ties to new prospects around the African continent and abroad.
Creating Lucrative Ties
Qatar is a relatively small state but has immense wealth and is actively building relations with Somalia. The Gulf state donated a fleet of armoured cars to Somalia and airlifted the mayor of Mogadishu to Doha for a medical emergency after he suffered an attack by al-Shabab. In 2017, Saudi Arabia and allied countries placed boycotts on Qatar that affected transport, politics and trade. Despite the allegations against Qatar, Somalia did not take sides. Since Qatar is now looking at ways to reinforce its economy after being negatively affected by the boycotts, Somalia is an ideal choice for collaboration.