The Ports Management Association for West and Central Africa, (PMAWCA), a principal intergovernmental network that oversees issues concerning the maritime industry in the sub-region has held the 4th Annual Harbour Masters network in Tema.
Experts on port management were present to guide the measures to be undertaken as the way forward for highly proficient ports management in West Africa.
Michael Luguje, Secretary General of the Ports Management Association for West and Central Africa indicated that in the face of safety and security concerns globally, there is the need to equip harbour masters with novel approaches to make their various ports highly secured and efficient.
“In that case the challenge then is, to ensure that whatever knowledge you’re learning, you continue to set the pace and get the best of examples. Let shipping lines be happy to call in your Ports and be able to say that your sub-region is the most efficient in terms of marine services,” he admonished.
The Director of Takoradi Port, Capt. Ebenezer Afadzi, disclosed that, in the face of projections that the sub-region will experience an upsurge in economic growth, it is important to prepare and sustain such growth.
He said there is the need for collaboration between harbour masters to improve and effectively manage their Ports and charged them to embrace the challenge to position the sub-region as a hub for efficient maritime trade.
“This network therefore creates opportunity in the spirit of true cooperation to share ideas and knowledge in an action-oriented effort to effectively identify common challenges that confront the harbor master’s work to position the region as a hub for efficient maritime trade,” he stated.
The Executive Director for the Centre for Maritime Law and Security, Dr. Kamal-Deen Ali, lectured on efficient measures needed to mitigate the changing dynamics of maritime security. He also highlighted collaboration especially the sharing of information as very essential to maintaining effective ocean governance and maritime security.
“We need to make sure we patrol our anchorages more and more, and also share information especially at the bilateral level. If we should have Benin not sharing information with Nigeria and Nigeria not sharing a lot of information with Cameroon and vice versa, it is not good. So sharing of information is important. And two other areas we have to address are legal issues, surrounding ocean governance and maritime security,” Dr. Kamal-Deen asserted.