A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed a week ago between Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) that will pave the way for co-operation between the two port authorities.
This is the third in a number of memoranda that TNPA intends to sign with ports in Southern and Eastern Africa as port authorities take the lead in maritime regional integration.
To date MoU’s have been signed with Maputo Port Development Corporation and the Namibian Port Authority. Later this year MoU’s will be signed with the ports of Angola, Kenya, Tanzania and Sudan.
“We are working towards economic integration in the Southern African Development Region with regional port authorities, as we recognise the importance of improving our relationship and working collaboratively to deliver on Transnet’s Africa Strategy vision” said Tau Morwe, Chief Executive Transnet National Ports Authority.
Regional integration is a key aspect of Transnet’s Africa Strategy and these memoranda will contribute to the competitiveness of the SADC region's trade through the efficient, reliable and cost-effective supply of port services.
“We believe that in a spirit of co-operation we can reduce the cost of doing business in the region by being efficient and reliable as we play a key role in lifting intra-regional trade within the SADC region from the current 12%. What we can achieve remains to be seen, but we should aspire to achieve the figures of other leading regional economic communities such as those of Asia and Europe where intra-regional trade is in the region of 60%,” said Morwe.
Collaborating with neighbouring ports is expected to result in the sharing of maritime experiences and exchange of technical expertise in relation to port management, port operations, port engineering, port environment and security as well as training.
The MoU with the Port of Maputo has resulted the training of its employees at Transnet’s Maritime School of Excellence and the refurbishment by TNPA of one of its disused tugboats for the Port of Maputo. In addition TNPA’s new dredger, the Italeni, will be heading for Maputo in a month’s time to assist with the dredging of the Port of Maputo.
“The signing of the Italeni revenue contract is evidence that the Port of Maputo and the ports of South Africa are not in competition but are collaborating to realise the regional economic integration, as the world is pinning its hope on the African continent for economic growth. These are the benefits of a relationship that started a few years ago,” said Osario Lucas, Chief Executive Mozambique Port Development Company.
“I would like to assure my colleagues from the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) that this is a step in the right direction which will yield positive results not only for them but for all the neighbouring ports,” said Lucas.
Earlier this year the Port of Namibia undertook a two-day information gathering exercise at the Port of Durban with regard TNPA’s Human Capital policies, including the implementation its shift process.
“The MoU means that the GPHA can access the capacity and expertise of TNPA at a lower cost than that of European ports and that TNPA can access the expertise of the GPHA which it can apply to its ports,” said Morwe.