Somalia - Country Commercial Guide
Economic Infrastructure, Roads, Airports, and Seaports
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Somalia is emerging from years of conflict.  Key economic infrastructure such as roads, ports, and airports need improvements through public and private sector investments.  Of the 21,830 kilometers of roads in the country, only 2,860 kilometers are estimated to be paved (13 percent), and most of this paved network is believed to be in poor or deplorable condition.  According to recent reports, only 31.2 percent of the rural population has access to an all-season road, with the majority without reliable access roads.  Key business and investment opportunities include public sector financing and development of major roads and highways, partnerships with local road contractors through provisions and sales of road machinery, equipment, and engineering services.

Somalia’s major seaports are Berbera, Mogadishu, Bossaso, and Kismayo.  Somalia also has other small and medium-sized ports such as Hobyo and Garacad that have attracted interest from both public and private entities for potential investments and expansion.  Mogadishu and Berbera are the two largest ports.  Berbera Port is under the management of a UAE company—DP World—and recently received over $400 million of investment in port improvements and cargo transit routes, with the aim of providing logistics capacity to Ethiopia of approximately 500,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per year.  The Port of Mogadishu is under the management of Al-Bayrak, a Turkish company.  Most Somali ports need critical infrastructure improvements such as additional berths, logistics support, cargo storage, cold chain storage and handling, and management services.  The concept of an economic free zone is gaining traction.  Berbera is establishing an economic free zone, and opportunities may exist in Mogadishu and Bosasso to create similar structures.  In addition to port infrastructure, Somalia—with a long coastline of 3,333 kilometers—has the potential for the development of fishery jetties, deep sea fish harvesting and collection, and offshore fish cold chain storage and handling.

The country’s major airports are Mogadishu, Hargeisa, Bosasso, Garowe, and Kismayo.  Through efforts led by the Somali Civil Aviation Authority in partnership with IATA and ICAO, Somalia regained its Class A airspace classification after more than 30 years.  Several international airlines operate in the country, including Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, and numerous local airlines connecting passengers within and outside the country.  There has been a substantial growth in passenger traffic in recent years due to diaspora returnees/visitors, religious travelers (including those making a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia), and improved regular flights and interconnectivity with neighboring countries.  As business opportunities rise in the aviation sector, Somalia-based airlines seek partnerships and investments in the industry.  In 2023, Daallo Airlines signed a deal with ACC Aviation to source new aircraft to support its expansion in Somalia.  Areas of business and investment opportunities include public-private development models in airport passenger terminals, runways, ground handling, airport cargo handling and operations, and private sector financing and partnerships for local airline expansion through equity injections and loans.

Information Resources

Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (MOTCA)

Ministry Building, Shangani District, Mogadishu – Somalia