IMO, AAMA regret non-inclusion of maritime in national devt action plans
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA) have decried the non-inclusion of the maritime industry in African countries’ national development action plans.
According to the organisations, this has posed a huge barrier to investing in projects such as green ports and national single window systems, which are key in cutting carbon emissions for the shipping sector.
AAMA also contended that the lack of defined maritime policies is locking out some African ports from accessing climate resilience financing from multilateral lenders.
The organisation noted that government agencies specifically involved with the blue economy could be important fronts to cure policy inconsistencies, which are derailing the development of shipping in Africa.
The Principal Secretary of the State Department for Shipping and Maritime Affairs, Kenya, Shadrack Mwandime, said maritime administrations in Africa must act as enablers to facilitate the growth of the shipping industry.
Mwandime, however, implored African leaders to come out in large numbers at the IMO deliberations to ensure their needs are catered for at the global level.
Also, maritime leaders decried the low numbers of African shipowners, noting that unfortunately, the continent’s national and regional shipping lines have limited access to sustainable finance and manning, thereby hindering their ability to scale up for international trade.
According to a study by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Africa requires 126 vessels for bulk cargo and 15 boxships by 2030 for full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
They noted that if business remains as usual, the existing carrying capacity of African vessels would only handle less than 10 per cent of the cargo shipped in and out of the continent.
The Secretary-General of the African Shipowners Association, Folorunso Olufunmilayo, said to raise intra-African trade from the current 15 per cent, more cargo need to be carried on African-owned vessels.
Olufunmilayo, however, noted that there is already enough regional cargo to support the commercial operation of national and pan-African shipping lines.