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Ports in West, Central Africa urged to strengthen bilateral relations to enhance quality of operations

The director general of the GPHA says the move will increase efficiency of ports services across the region

Michael Luguje, the director general of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), has called on the management of the various ports in West and Central Africa to strengthen bilateral relations towards increased efficiency and sustainability in their operations.

Speaking during the closing ceremony of the 41st Council Meeting and 16th Roundtable Conference of Managing Directors of the Ports Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA), Michael Luguje, who is also the president of the association urged member ports to work together towards implementing the key recommendations that emerged from the meeting and assured of his outfit’s support to the secretariat.

“For those recommendations that are country-specific, I need all member ports that recommendation that’s relevant to your port you take them up, implement them and in the process of implementation if you need support in any form through technical assistance or bilateral advice from member ports, you should feel free to route down a request, essentially each and everyone one of us must be at the same level of standards and quality of service.

The association has gone through a number of reforms in the last 8 to 10 years and the reforms still continue. If you heard the secretary-general, the board of directors discussed further reforms that are going to further strengthen our association,” he stated. 

Some international trade experts have called on African countries to adopt a unitary approach when it comes to border restrictions and other related decisions that affect cross border trade.

The national president for Borderless Alliance, Ziad Hamoui revealed that early this year, considerations had been taken to gradually ease the border restrictions beginning 1 January 2022.

He expressed the hope that positive outcomes would emerge from the meeting of heads of state regarding the issue and called on Africans to display a sense of solidarity among themselves.

“From the trade and economic side, ECOWAS also is aware of the fact that the year 2020 COVID-19 impacted countries with a degree of 5.5% in terms of GDP which translate to roughly US$50 billion in a loss in the economic development of West Africa, mainly due to COVID. And so, as West Africa we cannot continue to go down, there needs to be some form of resuscitation for our economic development.

COVID wise we think the situation has stabilized and we’re looking forward to what the heads of state decision based on the various borders will be,” he stated. 

Nicholas Brown

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