Business News of Saturday, 31 January 2015
Source: Graphic Online
The Director General of the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority (GPHA), Mr Richard Anamoo, has called for co-operation among ports authorities in Africa.
At the opening session of a conference and an exhibition of ports and habours of West Africa in Accra, Mr Anamoo said such co-operation would ensure that ports in Africa fully developed their capacities to be able to compete in the global economy.
The just-ended three-day conference, was put together by the International Quality and Productivity Authority (IQPC) in collaboration with the GPHA. It was attended by representatives from 20 port authorities across Africa.
Representatives from the Netherlands, Portugal, Germany, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also participated in the programme.
Participants discussed port construction and expansion challenges faced by governments and the way to overcome such difficulties.
They also identified solutions and innovative equipment capabilities which would ensure that port infrastructure and transport networks were efficient and equipped to the highest standards.
Mr Anamoo stressed the need for significant infrastructure investment in both port and inland logistics capabilities, in order to satisfy the projected demands of some of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
With the huge growth in trade across West Africa, he said the projected future growth, an upgrade in infrastructure at the various ports in West Africa in particular and Africa in general to handle greater volumes and larger vessels was paramount.
There has been an increased congestion in African ports which has been affecting ship turnaround time and according to Mr Anamoo, addressing those challenges was critical in harnessing trade and investment.
“With the growing interest in African economies as the global economy continues to expand, sufficient capacity is needed. There must be investment and reinvestment in infrastructure, while ensuring port development is in tandem with developments in the hinterlands to ensure an effective logistics chain”, Mr Anamoo noted.
He noted that while port development needed massive investment, Ghana had made progress with a $1.8billion investment at the Takoradi and Tema Ports.
The Director General said Kenya had also initiated a $25.5 billion investment in the Lamu Port and New Transport Corridor Development to Southern Sudan and Ethiopia.
He said Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Cameroon and Nigeria had all rolled out similar redevelopment and expansion projects to ensure they actively participated in the global trade.
“Strong maritime institutions must be vibrant in the exchange of views and ideas”, Mr Anamoo stressed.
Mr Anamoo also emphasised the need for private public partnership in the development and operation of port infrastructure across the continent.
He expressed the hope that the road map outlined at the programme would chart a new course in port operations on the continent.
The Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Joyce Bawa-Mogtari, in a keynote address, called for proposals from participants in the development of new technologies that would improve productivity at the country’s ports.
She also called on participating countries to outline modalities on the development of lake transport across the continent to ensure that trade becomes less expensive among member ports.