The gateway to West Africa’s economy

The Gambia has a history of being a vital export and transit hub in West Africa, a great deal of which is due to the important strategic location of the Gambia River and The Port of Banjul - also known as the gateway to the country’s economy. However, as The Gambia’s political, economic, and social ambitions have grown in recent years, the port’s ability to perform has not kept pace. 

A steady increase in trade, congested shipping lanes, and inadequate container terminals are just a few of the obstacles preventing the port from fulfilling its potential. With the improvement of transport infrastructure listed as one of the government’s ‘8 Strategic Priorities’, the Gambia Ports Authority outlined two major ongoing plans that are overseeing the continued expansion and improvement of the Port of Banjul.

Climate-proofing the fourth expansion project

In what is now the fourth expansion project, the Global Center on Adaptation through the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (a joint initiative of the African Development Bank & Global Center on Adaptation) is offering technical assistance to the Gambia Ports Authority to mainstream climate adaptation and resilience into the Project. GCA assigned a consortium featuring Lobelia Earth’s climate modelling and Royal HaskoningDHV’s climate resilience technology to develop and prioritise climate adaptation investments.

Royal HaskoningDHV has been brought on as a partner with a goal of mainstreaming climate adaptation and resilience. The company will use its cutting-edge technology and industry expertise to carry out risk assessments, identify vulnerabilities, and ensure the port and its surrounding wetlands are protected from the impact of changing climate.

Royal HaskoningDHV uses its Global Flood Risk Tool to assess the climate risk, utilising Lobelia’s state-of-the-art climate predictions powered by advanced data from up to 20 regional climate models. By appraising the economic and environmental impacts of current plans and mitigation options, Royal HaskoningDHV will play a vital role in ensuring the creation of a robust investment plan for climate adaptation measures– thereby making sure that the port continues to make an important contribution to West Africa’s economy in the future. 

An ongoing involvement in port development and climate resilience

This work follows previous contributions to the port’s expansion from Royal HaskoningDHV, including preparation of Banjul Port Development Masterplan and the Flood Risk Assessment for the Greater Banjul Area conducted recently. 

As the expansion project grows, the Dutch company’s expertise with nature-based solutions will continue to provide assurance that development plans are climate-resistant, hazards can be mitigated, and that the port and its surrounding wetlands remain protected.