The World Logistics Passport (WLP) has expanded its presence in Africa by rolling out to Ethiopia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Burkina Faso and Guinea registering as ‘gateway’ countries.
In a statement, the WLP said businesses in these countries will see a “significant reduction” in supply chain costs and an “improved speed to market for exports and imports”.
These are included in the more than 130 benefits provided by the WLP to traders and freight forwarders, which can expect to enjoy a volume increase of between 5-10% on average.
Countries that participate in the WLP network are classified in one of two categories – ‘gateways’ and ‘hubs’. Gateways are top regional contributors to freight trade and have preferential access to the nearest ‘hub’ country; there are currently two ‘hub’ countries in Africa – Senegal and South Africa.
‘Gateway’ countries are represented in the WLP network by the leading national freight forwarding association or chamber of commerce.
The WLP said Ethiopia’s participation aligns with its government’s ambitious economic reform programme and commitment to upgrade national transport and logistics capabilities, including the recent strategic partnership with DP World to develop the Berbera Corridor.
Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, through their membership of the WLP network, will help deliver benefits to freight forwarders across southern Africa, taking full advantage of global trade links through South Africa and ongoing upgrades in key regional infrastructure such as the Kazungula Bridge.
The entry of Burkina Faso and Guinea builds on Senegal’s participation as a key hub for West Africa, opening up new trade routes and markets to Latin America in the west and the Middle East and Asia to the east through Dubai.
Mike Bhaskaran, CEO of the WLP, said, “We are excited to see so much interest in the WLP initiative from across Africa.
“The World Logistics Passport promises to help these economies grow and create jobs by enhancing their export competitiveness and the productivity of their national transport and logistics sectors.
“More efficient supply chains will make their products more competitive, open up access to new markets and trade routes and increase their national economic resilience.
“International trade is of central importance to the global economy, contributing significantly to development, growth and employment.
“In the context of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the WLP is an integral part of the global response to boost international trade, facilitate access to new markets and increase resilience of the global supply chain.”