Africans must collaborate to develop deep seaports – IAPH


African Countries need to look into the possibilities of partnering as part of measures to develop regional deep-sea ports, the International Association of Ports and Harbors, IAPH has said.

In a communiqué issued at the end of its three day deliberation in Abuja, Nigeria, IAPH emphasized the need for cooperation and synergy between littoral ports and dry ports in the African region to improve hinterland connectivity.

According to IAPH, there is also need to encourage women integration and capacity building in the maritime sector. Fundamental issues that arose from the Conference are:  “For economies to grow in the right direction there is need for investments in port and evacuation infrastructure to facilitate hinterland connectivity;

‘‘Connectivity for economic growth, expansion and integration should be viewed from the perspective of domestic, sub-regional, continental and international trade domain. There is need to develop sustainable multi-modal transport linkages with emphasis on rail, inland waterways and pipeline infrastructure;

‘‘To overcome the cumbersome and difficult experiences on intra-Africa trade route occasioned by heavy infrastructural deficit and unfriendly border post procedures, there is need for Ministerial/ inter-Government collaborations across sub and regional levels;

‘‘African countries need to leverage on the support platforms provided by international bodies such as the IMO, WTO, UNCTAD, ACMA and others to build technical, financial and operational competence and capacity to raise standards and efficiency levels;

‘‘To encourage funding, port service providers are encouraged to form viable consortiums to provide the required size for credit guarantees; Promotion of the use of ICDs and off-dock facilities as a measure of promoting hinterland connectivity;

The communiqué also encouraged African ports to develop the right capacity to take investment opportunities in landlocked countries; as well as need for African ports to adopt best practices in terms of human capacity and expertise; among others.