Nigeria is set to host nine African countries for the 2018 regional conference of the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) on Sept. 17 in Abuja.
The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Usman, said in Lagos on Friday that the theme of the conference was “African Ports and Hinterland Connectivity.”
She said that IAPH was established 61 years ago to promote the global interest of ports worldwide and build strong member relationships where ideas on international best practices would be shared.
Usman, who is vice president of the association, said she saw her election as an opportunity to offer quality representation to the continent and reposition the maritime sector for better efficiency.
She said in a statement that President Muhammadu Buhari would declare the conference open while a former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd) would chair the conference.
Among the participating African port authorities were Lagos (Nigeria), Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Durban (South Africa), Mombasa (Kenya) and Douala (Cameroon).
“Other participants expected at the conference are Cotonou Ports Authority (Benin), Dakar Ports Authority (Senegal), Target Med Port (Morocco), Port of Alexandria (Egypt),” Usman said.
She added that ports of Antwerp (Belgium) and Guangzhou (China) would attend the three-day conference to share experience and insight on how to improve ports operations and attain better efficiency.
“They will be joined by experts from World Trade Organisation (WTO), International Maritime Organisation (IMO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and African Development Bank AfDB).
“At the end of the conference, we hope to produce a document which can form the basis of policies that would guide our government in the important task of improving service delivery at African ports,” Usman said.
She said that the conference would enable African ports to attain their potential on the deployment of multimodal means of transportation and ensuring that cargoes were moved without delay.