Benin’s Cotonou Port Receives 27% More Imports After Expansion

Imports of goods to Benin’s main port of Cotonou increased 27 percent to 7 million metric tons this year after the harbor underwent renovations to enable it to handle more traffic.

The West African nation hopes to increase the volume of imported goods to 9 million tons in 2011, said Albert Houngbo, general director of the port, in a statement read on state-owned broadcaster Office de Radiodiffusion et Television du Benin yesterday.

Benin signed an agreement with the U.S. Millennium Challenge Account in 2006 to invest $169 million to upgrade roads in the port, construct a new wharf and improve customs procedures.

Houngbo said Benin plans to build five inland ports to move goods to neighboring countries, including landlocked Niger and Burkina Faso, next year.

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