Headlines Blue Economy, Africa’s untapped opportunities for growth and development – Tinubu By maritimemag November 8, 2023 ShareTweet 0 By Bisi ABASS President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has identified Blue Economy as Africa’s untapped opportunities for growth and development. African leaders on the need to prioritize stating that the blue economy holds the key to Africa’s prosperity. Tinubu submitted at the 43rd Annual Council of the Port Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) conference. Speaking through the Minister of Marine and Blue economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, President Tinubu said, “We must acknowledge the maritime sector as a central driver for the sustainable development of our nations”. The President further stressed that despite national boundaries, the waters serve as natural source of connectivity, emphasizing that the region’s shared destiny and challenges require collaborative efforts. Tinubu also underlined the significance of technological advancement in the sector and emphasized that automation is crucial for maintaining the competitiveness of ports in the global maritime industry. He highlighted the importance of the Port Community System, which serves as a precursor to the implementation of the National Single Window, as essential tools in streamlining port operations. “As a government that believes in the necessity of infusing information technology into public management to aid transparency and ease business processes, we are giving the Nigerian Ports Authority all the backing necessary to fast track the operationalization of the Port Community System,” he declared. President Tinubu advised that full automation is the way forward if African ports are to remain competitive on the international stage, echoing the sentiment that seamless and efficient cargo handling is vital for port competitiveness in the African context. Mohammed Bello-Koko, the Managing Director/CEO of the Nigerian Ports Authority, while speaking earlier also echoed President Tinubu’s call for regional cooperation in the maritime sector. He noted that the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) are substantial while urging African leaders to work together to eliminate trade barriers and harness these opportunities for the collective prosperity of respective national economies “The opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) are substantial. We must work together to eliminate trade barriers and harness these opportunities for the collective prosperity of our respective national economies,” Bello-Koko stated. He praised the PMAWCA for its role in promoting port cooperation and expressed the Nigerian Ports Authority’s commitment to partnership and support for policies and action steps that will be discussed during the conference. The NPA Boss added that the 43rd PMAWCA conference, with its focus on the Blue Economy and the significance of regional cooperation, has set the stage for a crucial dialogue on how African nations can unlock the potentials of their maritime resources. © 2023, maritimemag. All rights reserved.