COMMUNIQUE

COMMUNIQUE OF THE AFRICAN REGIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF PORTS AND HARBOURS (IAPH) HOLDING AT THE TRANSCORP HILTON, ABUJA FROM THE 17TH – 19TH SEPTEMBER 2018.
THEME: AFRICAN PORTS & HINTERLAND CONNECTIVITY

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Fundamental issues that arose from the Conference are:
1. Ports are strategic national assets;

2. For economies to grow in the right direction, there is need for investments in port and evacuation infrastructure to facilitate hinterland connectivity;

3. Connectivity for economic growth, expansion and integration should be viewed from the perspective of domestic, sub-regional, continental and international trade domain;

4. There is need to develop sustainable multi-modal transport linkages with emphasis on rail, inland waterways and pipeline infrastructure;

5. To overcome the cumbersome and difficult experiences on intra-Africa trade route occasioned by heavy infrastructural deficit and unfriendly border post procedures, there is need for Ministerial/ inter-Government collaborations across sub and regional levels;

6. African countries need to leverage on the support platforms provided by international bodies such as the IMO, WTO, UNCTAD, ACMA and others to build technical, financial and operational competence and capacity to raise standards and efficiency levels;

7. To encourage funding, port service providers are encouraged to form viable consortiums to provide the required size for credit guarantees;

8. Promotion of the use of ICDs and off-dock facilities as a measure of promoting hinterland connectivity;

9. African ports are encouraged to develop the right capacity to take investment opportunities in landlocked countries;

10. Need for African ports to adopt best practices in terms of human capacity and expertise;

11. Development of capacity building in ICT and port community systems to improve efficiency and reduce corruption;

12. Take advantage of opportunities afforded by infrastructural financial institutions such as AfDB, ADF and NTF to access funds required to address the menace of infrastructural deficits;

13. Need to operate within the prescription of the FAL convention to mitigate border post problems and associated delays and connectivity restrictions;

14. There is the need for sustained promotion of the ideals/ objectives of Corridor Management Institutions (CMIs) as promoted by ACMA;

15. Need to consider measures aimed at sustainable environmental protection as the ports and transportation network develop in response to increasing demands of logistics, connectivity and regional integration;

16. Need to build models that will domesticate environmental compliance processes with regard to the peculiarity of the African situation;

17. Need for African ports to develop capacities for standards that are comparable to global best practice;

18. Introduction and strengthening of private sector participation (PPP) to improve dilapidated port infrastructure and efficiency in port operations;

19. Creating awareness and taking measures to mitigate the negative effects of marine pollution and environmental degradation that could harm the population;

20. Motivating the ports to pursue agenda that will facilitate ISO compliance in line with current trend on standardization and best practices;

21. Countries need to look into the possibilities of partnering to develop regional deep-sea ports;

22. The need for cooperation and synergy between littoral ports and dry ports in the African region to improve hinterland connectivity;

23. The need to encourage women integration and capacity building in the maritime sector; 24. Giving incentives and prioritizing services rendered to dry ports to create volume traffic as seen in the case between Dakar Port Authority and Bamako Port in Mali;

25. Strengthening corporate social responsibilities between the ports and ports community through incentive packages that will make the communities ambassadors of ports;

26. The president of Nigeria encouraged participants to see their participation as privileged and the need to serve their countries with optimum loyalty in ensuring they contribute their quota to trade facilitation and total integration of African economies;