Autonomous Port of Douala

Chair of the Board of Directors: Mr SHEY Jones YEMBE

Director General: Mr Cyrius NGO’O

Deputy-Director General: Mr Charles Michaux MOUKOKO NJOH


The Port Authority of Douala being a para-public institution, has the mission of managing the coordination of services available in Douala-Bonabéri as well as the marketing strategy in the port.

The city of Douala is located in the estuary of Wouri, 50 km from the sea. It has been a zone of commercial activity since the 19th century where work was carried out to enable trade between coastal inhabitants and traders from Hamburg and Bremen.

According to some sources, the sector was first developed by a German shipping company « Woermanline » in 1881.

With the advent of the First World War, which saw the German colonies seized, access to the port of Douala was made possible by ships with a draught of 4.0 metres. The infrastructure includes a 60-metre wharf, seven private wharves, and shops connected by a 60-metre path. Bonabéri at that time, was served by a wharf 100 metres long. Well-equipped workshops and a 900-tonne floating dock. The annual traffic capacity is estimated at 100,000 tonnes.

With the advent of the first world war that saw the German colonies seized, access to the port of Douala was made possible by ships with a draft of 4.0 meters. The infrastructure includes a 60-meter wharf, seven private wharves, shops connected by a 60-meter path. Bonabéri at this time, will be served by a platform 100 meters long. Well-equipped workshops and a 900-tonne floating dock. The annual traffic capacity is estimated at 100,000 tonnes.

After the surrender of the Germans, the first objectives of the French, who had now become masters, extended the railway and equipped the port of Douala. The extension work stopped in 1922. At the same time, they organized activities focusing on specialized services in ports and inland waterways as part of colonial public works. This marked the beginning of the slow but sure establishment of institutions under French administration.

At independence in 1960, this structure became the Department of Ports and Inland Waterways of the Ministry of Transport.

The latter later became the Cameroon National Ports Authority (ONPC) under the 1971 federal law.

This organization operated for nearly 30 years before undergoing reforms based on the discussions of the 1977 Round Table.

All partners involved in port activities were then invited to reflect on concrete solutions to meet the requirements of the atmosphere at the time. Specifically, it was to address the challenges of low demand for port services. The resolutions adopted during these deliberations, reinforced by the recommendations of the FAL Committee, helped to define government policy in this direction. From this was now born the law of 24 December 1988 describing the new challenges facing the port sector.

Although implemented, the port reform had as main points the orientation law, 8 implementation decrees defining the new layout of Cameroonian ports.

At the end of the reforms of the Cameroon National Port Authority, a National Port Authority (NPA) is responsible, among other things, for developing and monitoring the application of port security standards. With Kribi, Limbe and Garoua, Douala has become one of the largest port authorities with prerogatives in terms of management and promotion of its services.

The Douala Port Authority, being a Para-Public Institution, has as its Mission the Management of the Coordination of Available Services in Douala-Bonabéri.

In accordance with the law, the Port transfers to private sector companies through commercial and industrial offers:  handling, container terminal management, etc. Since 1999, the Commercial Director of the PAD has actively contributed to competitiveness in port activities.


The PAD as the administrative structure of the Douala-Bonaberi port complex is in charge of several missions:

  • The general coordination of port activities;
  • The assistance and reception of vessels;
  • The creation and development of port industrial zones;
  • The promotion of the port area;
  • The security and police of port business operations;
  • The management, maintenance and renewal of port equipment;
  • The project management of works entrusted to specialised companies, including dredging;
  • Equipment works, and extension of maintenance of the said port as well as the creation and development of industrial port areas;
  • The promotion of the port area.


Its main vision is to make the port of Douala-Bonaberi an attractive, competitive and efficient port. A reference pole at the heart of the Gulf of Guinea.

TARGETS: The PAD has two different targets, namely:

National Targets

  • General public
  • The staff
  • Administration
  • State
  • Partners
  • Employers’ unions (GICAM)
  • Importers
  • Carriers

International Targets

  • Amateurs
  • Economic operators in landlocked countries
  • Destination and origin ports

The PAD Master Plan

The Port of Douala is organised into 11 geographical areas of operation including:

  1. A General Cargo Port that occupies the location of what is now considered to be « the old Port ».
  2. Modernized Container Terminal destined for the traffic of imported containers and vehicles, it covers Posts 14 to
  3. Wood terminal for wood treatment
  4. Fruit terminal that handles both conventional and fruit traffic, mainly bananas, pineapples and cereals.
  5. Mineral Terminal destined for the traffic of alumina on import and aluminium on export
  6. Oil Terminal which is composed of a Duke of Alba intended for the docking of tankers, Tankers located 200 m from the left bank of the Wouri. A berth is temporarily assigned to vessels due to the unavailability of this Duke of Alba.
  7. Fishing port where fishing activities are organized around the upstream dock with several facilities
  8. The Ship Repair Zone managed by the Cameroon Shipyard and Industrial Engineering Ltd.
  9. Logistics support zones for traffic in the Hinterland countries;
  10. Logistics support zones for oil exploration;
  11. Long-term storage zones with stores.