West African ports urged to collaborate to boost trade

Business News of Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Source: Graphic Online

Tema Port View

The Director-General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Mr Richard Anamoo, has reiterated the need for a significant investment in infrastructure in both port and inland logistics capabilities to meet the projected demands of some of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

He said the huge growth in trade throughout West Africa and the projected future growth demanded an upgrade in infrastructure at the various ports in West Africa in particular and Africa in general to handle greater volumes and larger vessels.

Mr Anamoo, who was speaking at the opening of a three-day West African Ports and Harbours summit in Accra, underscored the need for West African regional ports to collaborate to boost trade.

The summit was organised by Infrastructure IQ, a division of the International Quality and Productivity Centre, (IQPC), in collaboration with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.

Participants were from Nigeria, Senegal, Benin, Togo and Morocco. The rest were from China, The Netherlands, South Africa, India, France, the United States, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The summit will examine terminal handling efficiencies, how to ease port congestion through industrial land development, dredging efficiencies, Next Generation Container Port (NGCP) challenges, containerisation and multimodal transport networks.

It will also focus on operational and construction challenges affecting port expansion, development and efficiency for West African ports.

Mr Anamoo noted that with the exception of North Africa where imports and exports recorded negative variances due to the Arab Spring and the Southern African Regions where imports also recorded negative variances due to the growing manufacturing sector, the other countries recorded positive variances.

He, therefore, called for public-private partnership to help develop port capacity in Africa since financing for port infrastructural development was huge and expensive, while urging indigenous banks to syndicate to enable them to provide funding for such projects.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Mrs Joyce Bawa Mogtari, said the ministry’s doors were open to receive ideas and solutions from industry players and companies who could help with new technologies to improve productivity.

She expressed the hope that participants would have the opportunity to learn about investment opportunities in Ghana and take advantage of those opportunities.