The awards were facilitated by the Association of the Ports of Western and Central Africa (AGPAOC) and Port Management Association of West & Central Africa (PMAWCA).
The organizers accessed 22 ports that are all regular member-ports of the Association and nine associate members, including landlocked countries and Maritime Organizations, all located along the West Coast of the Africa Continent extending from Mauritania to Angola.
According to organizers of the African Ports Awards? maiden edition, the increasing preference for maritime transport requires ports to be highly equipped with infrastructure, technologies and high-level human resources — hence the need to indirectly create competition among ports in the region.
The organizers admitted that though it is the case every port is expected to be the best destination, the experiences of one port can be profitable to another if they are well published.
Speaking in an interview, the Director General (DG) of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) Richard Anamoo said the award means their performance is being recognised by the maritime community, and it is a signal that whatever they do either at the waterfront or landside competitors in the other African countries are also assessing their performance.
?It is also a message that whatever we are doing the maritime community is a concern; and the better we can perform, the more opportunity there is that we can become the hub for business and commerce.?
He said: ?Our strategic objective over the past few years was focused on performance, and high efficiency is our goal?.
He explained that over the period they ensure there is minimum delay in vessel operations, cargo operations and information exchange, and security as well.
Director General of the GPHA Richard Anamoo said his outfit spent resources to upgrade their information technology system, acquiring modern equipment such as mobile harbour cranes, Rubber tie gantries, reach Starkers cranes and many others, and port expansion project — and above all training their staff, which is the bedrock upon which their performance is currently judged.
?We also focus on security and the need for us to secure the maritime community so that vessels coming into our waters will be safe.?
He said in order to sustain this performance his outfit will stay focused on its mission and vision, maintain the same standard in terms of delivery, change mode of operation, and embark on sustained physical infrastructure expansion.
He assured of working close with stakeholders in the maritime sector in order to ensure our borders and clear and free from all forms of obstacles.
By: Prosper Agbenyega