French Court Sides with Cameroon’s Port in Bolloré Legal Tussle

A significant legal victory has been secured by Cameroon’s Port of Douala (PAD) in its longstanding dispute with French conglomerate Bolloré. The Paris Court of Cassation overturned a previous ruling that had favored Bolloré’s subsidiary in a contentious battle over container terminal concessions.

The case, which has spanned five years, centers on Douala International Terminal (DIT), formerly owned by Bolloré and now part of MSC Group. DIT initiated legal action after losing its bid to renew the contract for operating the port’s container terminal, a facility it had managed for 15 years in partnership with APMT.

Initially, DIT seemed to have the upper hand when the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris ordered PAD to pay €58.6 million in damages. However, the recent ruling by France’s highest court has invalidated this decision, citing irregularities in the arbitration process, including alleged collusion between a judge and a Bolloré lawyer.

While PAD celebrates this turn of events, DIT maintains that the ruling is purely procedural and not a final resolution. This suggests that the complex legal battle may continue, leaving the future of Douala’s crucial container terminal operations in a state of uncertainty.

This case highlights the intricate interplay between international business interests and national infrastructure management in Africa, underscoring the importance of transparent and fair bidding processes in major port operations.

About Geraldine Boechat 2762 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia