Citadel Capital, one of the MENA region's largest private-equity companies, with more than US$8.3 billion (Dh30.48bn) in investments, plans to create a comprehensive transport network stretching between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean.
It will use its fleet of new and old Egyptian barges to ferry goods along the Nile among ports such as Alexandria, Damietta, Tanash and Assiut.
At the Aswan High Dam, cargo will be moved on to trucks for the 60km or so journey around the dam. After that it is back on to the Nile at Wadi Halfa in Sudan, where there are 21 barges belonging to Keer Marine, a company recently purchased by Citadel.
Keer transports some 25 per cent of the UN World Food Programme's cargo in Sudan and also runs the Nile port of Kosti, some 200km from Khartoum. These barges will continue the journey towards yet another company owned by Citadel, the Nile Valley Railway.
Thanks to a revenue-sharing agreement with the Sudanese Railway Corporation, it is buying new rolling stock, including wagons and locomotives, to run over Egypt's 4,500km of track, including to Khartoum and the coastal city of Port Sudan.
From there the cargo moves on to the Rift Valley Railways of Kenya-Uganda, a company in which Citadel owns a significant stake. Rift Valley Railways has a 21-year concession to operate the 2,352km of track throughout both countries, from Lake Victoria to Mombasa.
This new transport and logistics network is an integral part of Citadel's East African investment strategy - with the company having some $900 million of investments in Sudan. It also plans to invest $200m-$400m in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania over the next two years.