The President of Port Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) and Director-General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Michael Luguje, underscored the importance of collaboration to overcome industry challenges.
To him, collaboration is key to solving some notable challenges, such as environmental sustainability, among others.
Mr. Luguje made the remark during the week when over 45 delegates, made up of Board of Directors and Harbour Masters from various ports in West and Central Africa, assembled in Tema, Ghana to exchange knowledge and deepen collaboration toward improved management of ports amid current industry trends.
Under the auspices of the Ports Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA), this year’s 3-day Meeting of Harbour Masters who double as Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs), was the 7th in the series.
The group operates under the PMAWCA Harbour Masters Network.
Discussions centred mainly on environmental sustainability, building resilience of ports in West and Central Africa, as well as safety and security issues.
“We will have to consider the issue of environmental sustainability. Are we going to, over time, continue burning fossil fuels? The global space says no. Every single industry must move toward renewables and clean energy. That is still on the table, in addition to the issue of resilience. We are going to work together to solve these challenges,” Michael Luguje said.
Board Chairman of GPHA, Isaac Osei, in a speech read on his behalf, urged the various delegates to share experiences of issues relating to their functions for the furtherance of ports and the maritime industry.
The Secretary-General of PMAWCA, Jean Marie Koffi, bemoaned the rising incidence of piracy, and urged the Harbour Masters to employ the necessary tactics and strategies that will aid in the fight against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
He explained that Harbour Masters are critical due to their first-hand experience when it comes to seafaring, as well as sharing intelligence of vessels that visit ports in the sub-region.
Mr. Koffi averred that: “Once they are able to help us fight against piracy in our waters, the insurance cost will be low. This is because insurance cost is high due to the insecurity in our region”.
At the MPS Terminal 3 in the Port of Tema, the delegation was briefed on the efficient systems in place to drive international trade.
The CEO of MPS, Mohammed Samara, revealed that at Terminal 3, a digitalised process has been put in place where “drivers only need their fingerprint to pick up a container from us. No paper is needed.”