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Regional port managers meet in Swakop to discuss challenges and cooperation

Regional port managers meet in Swakop to discuss challenges and cooperation

By Adolf Kaure.

The Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA) hosted an annual meeting of member states at its conference in Swakopmund on Monday.

The meeting served as a platform for member ports and the Secretariat to deliberate on the process of finalizing the PMAESA 2024 – 2028 Strategic Plan.

According to the association’s Chairperson, Phillis Difeto, the strategic plan will set out clear strategies that will address port management and related challenges facing the region.

“Our observation is that a clear mismatch between the projected incomes and expenditures were noted across the majority of the PMAESA 2024 – 2028 Strategic Plan and resources were not adequate to cover the expenditure.” “A robust resource mobilization strategy was critical. However, its execution did not take place over the strategic plan period and that is why we are now at the development of the 2024 – 2028 Strategic Plan,” said Difeto.

The deliberations intend to provide assessments as well as the level of implementation, achievements, limitations and challenges that PMAESA faces. A detailed situational analysis has also been undertaken which develops a deep understanding of the current status of the PMAESA Secretariat including the needs of its stakeholders.

The ports association comprises key stakeholders from the ports as well as from the maritime, transport and logistics sector.

Primarily, the association membership is from the Horn of Africa, Eastern and Southern Africa as well as the Western Indian Ocean Island regions. It also comprises members from the Middle East and East Asia.

The top-tier members are port authorities, terminal operators, line ministries, training institutions and service providers in the maritime transport value chain.

During his address, Chief Executive of the Namibian Ports Authority, Andrew Kanime, said that collaboration is essential to ensure that ports in the PMAESA regional block contribute to their respective nation’s economic development.

“Our ports in the region are an important foundation for trade flow and economic development. As such, it is only through collaborative efforts that we can develop our ports to be formidable catalysts of economic development for our respective nations and our beloved continent.”

“We are not and will not be competitors but should rather be partners that collaborate in all relevant areas of our industry, be it infrastructure development, capacity building, technology building and utilization as well as sharing best practices for cost effectiveness and sustainable port management operations. Therefore, as a collective, we must try and enhance our participation and contribution to PMAESA,” he said.

The main objective of PMAESA is to build consensus amongst maritime gateways, specifically, to enhance efficiency in ports and harbours for member ports. The objective is achieved by facilitating direct engagements between member ports and in some cases, between stakeholders in the maritime transport sector.

“At a certain point, it is important that we seek to ensure alignment between the objectives of PMAESA and the expectations of port states.”

“Namport has been an active member of PMAESA for a number of years and as an organisation we may have recognised that PMAESA has a crucial role to play in enhancing the standing of our ports within the region,” said Kanime.

PMAESA’s primary role is to serve as a platform for exchange of best practices and information on various ports and maritime related activities, in line with its mandate. The association also strives to align its objectives and activities to current global trends to provide value to its members.

The association executes this through the PMAESA Secretariat which engages members, promotes and participates in key initiatives critical to the development of the regional ports and maritime sector.

Delegates of the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa attended a conference in Swakopmund on Monday 26 February 2024. (Photograph by Adolf Kaure)


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