5 largest sea port in Africa

5 largest sea port in Africa
largest sea port in Africa

5 largest sea port in Africa

90% of Africa’s imports and exports are conducted by sea. There is an increasing need for innovation and development in this field. With 38 of its 54 states either coastal or insular in nature. Africa has over a hundred port facilities, a few of which handle 6% of the worldwide water-borne cargo traffic. And only about 3% of the world’s container traffic.

With over 90% of Africa’s imports and exports conducted by sea, research conducted reveals that only 7 harbors or ports stand out strategically across the region. Out of these seven, we will prioritize five out.


To begin with, the Port of Durban. Port of Durban as popularly known is Africa’s most active general cargo port. It is situated a block away from Durban’s central business district. It plays a key role in South Africa’s economy. Being Africa’s largest container port, it handles most of the seagoing traffic in comparison to the other ports in South Africa.

The port welcomes about 4,500 vessels yearly and about 8,3000 containers per month. It conducts trade worth over $45billion.

5 largest sea port in Africa

2 . Secondly, MOMBASA – KENYA

Another port on the list is Port Mombasa. Port Mombasa, often referred to as “the city of merchants” dates back to the Portuguese exploration. The port has been and remains a busy trading post for the region.

It is the key gateway to East and Central Africa. It provides a direct link to about 80 ports worldwide and a railway line runs therefrom to Uganda and Tanzania. The port has 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent units and a container capacity of about 250,000 teu per year. Although, the Mombasa Port now handles about double this volume.

Port Mombasa
Port Mombasa

3 . Thirdly, DJIBOUTI

Also, Djibouti’s ports are crucial to its geo-strategic importance both in military and economic terms. They serve as a passage for Ethiopian trade and a platform for the trans-shipment of goods. This involves the outflow of container and bulk cargo from larger vessels to be redistributed to East Africa as well as Arabian ports.

It provides a secure regional hub for transshipment and the relay of goods.



Another port is the Lagos port. Lagos has been Nigeria’s economic focal point, it generates a significant portion of the country’s GDP. Port of Lagos, also known as Lagos Port Complex is located in the Apapa area of Lagos, southwest Nigeria.

Its operation in berthing, cargo handling, stacking areas, and storage facilities. This leading port is one of the largest and busiest in Africa. It is administered by the Nigerian Ports Authority and split into three main sections that are;

  • Firstly, Lagos port, in the main channel next to Lagos Island.
  • Secondly, Apapa Port (site for the container terminal).
  • Lastly, Tin Can Port, both located in Badagry Creek.
Port of Lagos
Port of Lagos


Finally, the Port of Abidjan. The port of Abidjan is located on a lagoon and is connected to the sea by a 2.8-long km channel. The Abidjan Container Terminal is run jointly by the French Bolloré Africa Logistics and APM Terminals.

Ivory Coast’s economic capital Abidjan, boasts of the biggest port in the West African sub-region. Thus, this makes it the second biggest in Africa with a container storage capacity of 20,000 TEUs as well as an annual volume of 610,000 TEUs.

Its 15 meters deep Vridi Canal allows boats with large draughts to dock in the deep-water port. Hence, it gives Abidjan an edge as it has become even more important, receiving the bulk of the country’s industrial activities.

Port of Abidjan
Port of Abidjan

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