Top 10 most important port cities in Africa

Top 10 most important port cities in Africa
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Top 10 most important port cities in Africa

As entry points for the flow of goods, ports have long been essential to international trade. Ports in Africa are vital to the continent’s economic structure, given that they play a critical role in promoting regional integration, enabling international commerce, and igniting economic growth due to the continent’s vast coastline and advantageous position. Not to mention the fact that Africa borders two oceans, the Atlantic and the Indiana Ocean.

  • Business Insider Africa presents the top 10 most important port cities in Africa.
  • This list is courtesy of The Container Port Performance Index report from the World Bank.
  • The list is based on how important these ports are to maritime trade in the region.

Ports serve as key entry and exit links for products traded between Africa and the rest of the globe. They handle a significant portion of Africa’s commerce, including commodities like oil, minerals, agricultural products, and manufactured items. The efficiency and capacity of ports have a direct impact on trade competitiveness.

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Its importance cannot be overstated given that international trade in Africa is primarily dependent on its ports, This is the reason why some of the continent’s most famous port cities are its most famous cities period. Cities such as Lagos, Dar es Salaam, and Durban, despite not being the capital cities have been established as major economic hubs.

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Ports are important drivers of economic growth and employment creation in Africa. Port-related businesses, such as shipping, logistics, warehousing, and distribution, create significant employment opportunities. Port activities provide direct jobs, while indirect jobs occur in linked industries such as transportation, manufacturing, and services.

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Ports also encourage investment in infrastructure development, such as the construction of roads, trains, and industrial zones. These initiatives not only enhance connection and accessibility but also stimulate economic activity in the surrounding areas.

According to the Container Port Performance Index report from the World Bank, maritime trade encompasses most of the global trade.

“More than 80 percent of global merchandise trade (by volume) is transported via sea routes. A considerable and increasing proportion of this volume, accounting for about 35 percent of total volumes and over 60 percent of commercial value, is carried in containers,” the report reads.

The report comes from the World Bank’s Transport Global Practice collaboration with S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Global Intelligence & Analytics division to create the fourth edition of the Container Port Performance Index (CPPI).

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With that said, here are the top ports in Africa, and by extension the cities where they are situated.

Top 10 most important port cities in Africa

RankPortCityCountryGlobal rank
2.Port SaidPort SaidEgypt16th
5.SokhnaAin SokhnaEgypt138th
7.Port de ConakryConakryGuinea208th
8.Port of MalaboMalaboEquatorial Guinea237th
10.Port of FreetownFreetownSierra Leone252nd


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