History OF BERBERA PORT
Somaliland’s Berbera Port had a historical significance in trade and this continues today.
Berbera is a historical town in Gulf of Aden and it is one of the oldest towns in Somaliland. It passed through Osmanic Empire of Turkey and historical remains can be found in Berbera at the present time.
The Berbera sea Port is located on the south Coast of the Gulf of Aden at the Coordinate 10.26 degrees North and 45/1 Degrees East and is Approximately 250KM East of Djibouti. Ships from the red Sea approach Berbera towards the Southeast and those from the Gulf States turn Southwest.
Berbera preserves the ancient name of the coast along the southern shore of the Gulf of Aden. It is thought to be the city Malao described as 800 stadia beyond the city of the Avalites, described in the eighth chapter of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, which was written by a Greek merchant in the first century AD.
Duan Chengshi, a Chinese Tang Dynasty scholar, described in his written work of AD 863 the ivory trade, and ambergris trade of Bobali, which is thought to be Berbera. The city was also later mentioned by the Islamic traveller Ibn Sa'id as well as Ibn Batutta in the thirteenth century.
However, as I.M. Lewis notes, "beyond the fact that during the period of Portuguese domination in the Red Sea the town was sacked in 1518 by Antonio de Saldanha, little of its history is known before the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.In 1546, the Ottoman Empire occupied the northwestern regions of Somalia including Berbera.
In 1874-75, the Egyptians obtained a firman from the Ottomans by which they secured claims over the city.
The British explorer Richard Burton made two visits to this port, and his second visit was marred by an attack on his camp by several hundred Somali spearmen the night of 19 April 1855, and although Burton was able to escape to Aden, one of his companions was killed. Burton, recognizing the importance of the port city, he wrote:
"In the first place, Berberah is the true key of the Red Sea, the centre of East African traffic, and the only safe place for shipping upon the western Erythraean shore, from Suez to Guardafui.
Backed by lands capable of cultivation, and by hills covered with pine and other valuable trees, enjoying a comparatively temperate climate, with a regular although thin monsoon, this harbour has been coveted by many a foreign conqueror. Circumstances have thrown it as it were into our arms, and, if we refuse the chance, another and a rival nation will not be so blind".
In 1888, after signing successive treaties with the then ruling Somali Sultans such as Mohamoud Ali Shire of the Warsangali Sultanate, the British established a protectorate in the region referred to as British Somaliland.
The Berbera airport has a 4,140 m (13,582 ft) runway, one of the longest on the continent.The runway was built by the Soviet Union (USSR) in the mid-1970s in order to counter the United States' military presence in the region. It was rented by NASA at a cost of $40 million per year, and used as an emergency landing site for the Space Shuttle from 1980 until 1991.
The port foundation is traced back more than hundred years, and the current place was established in 1968 linear wharf 300 meters by Soviet Union, and expanded 350 meters linear wharf in 1984 by United States of America, since then the port has developed numerous properties as well as constructions.
The Port task hasn’t changed over the years but its scope of services has expanded considerably. The port contributed significantly in the development of Somaliland community.
The Berbera Port owned and operated by the Republic of Somaliland; it is the largest employer, generating more than 2000 jobs and is the economic engine of the country. The port has a constant interaction between private and public sectors.
DP World has won a 30-year concession to manage and develop a multipurpose cargo complex at the deep-sea port of Berbera in Somaliland.
DP World will have a 65 percent stake in a joint venture with the government of Somaliland, which will invest up to $442 million in the project depending on cargo volumes.
This extraordinary history reinforces the claim that, geographically, Berbera port and its environs are strategically important and accessible. we pray to the one who created me, you, and this wonderful land that Berbera port will peacefully once again reach its full potential as a gateway to the Horn of Africa and deliver prosperity.