Experts Berate Africa’s Dwindling World Trade Participation

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Experts have decried Africa’s continuous dwindling share in global trade participation with just 3 per cent at the end of 2015.

The continent had a 2.5 per cent share of world export, according to the secretary-general, Port Management Association of West and Central Africa (PAWCA), Mr Michael Luguje.

Luguje, who delivered a paper on “Maritime Policy Development and its Impact on Africa’s Economy,” at the African Maritime Journalists Conference (AMJOC) said that the continent’s intra trade hold is poor at 12 per cent while ownership of vessels by African businesses is only a paltry 1.2 per cent of world total.

In making the right policies to drive development in the maritime and shipping sector, Luguje advised that African governments need to focus on the specifics and derive policies for each aspect of maritime business. This, however, would be in addition to first making policies to protect the ocean and its resources.

He said, “Protection of the ocean is very important. Our governments need to come up with policies, such as anti-piracy and anti-poaching policies, to protect the ocean itself. Maritime policies can be broken down into three broad areas and each of this area has various aspects. The broad areas include ocean resources, surface utilisation, that is shipping, and ocean and land interface. Under ocean resources, we have to make specific policies for such economies as offshore crude oil, fish stock and aquaculture, sub-marine cabling, and so on.

“Under surface utilisation, such policies are to focus on safety and security of navigation, ship ownership and registry, ship building, labour supply (seafaring), among others and on ocean-land interface, governments would be making policies on ports and terminals, ship yards, offshore platforms, ship agencies’ businesses and freight forwarding, legal banking, ship chandelling and haulage, and so on.”

The PAWCA secretary-general also advised African countries to embark on a timely delineation of the ocean boundaries to avoid problems between neighbouring countries as Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire now have.

Also speaking, a former secretary-general of the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA), Magnus Addico, said that the fact that government revenues are dwindling in recent times means that there is much to be done to earn from the maritime sector.

Respected as the doyen of the shippers’ councils in Africa, Addico, who lauded the Nigerian maritime journalists for their timely specialisation and impact in the industry in Nigeria, charged maritime journalists in Africa to emulate the Nigerian example.

Ship Registry reached a 4,000 vessel registration milestone with the registration of the 50,000 dead weight tonnage (dwt) chemical and product tanker newly built vessel named High Trust, owned by d’Amico Tankers Limited, Dublin daughter company of d’Amico International Shipping South Africa Group.

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