The two-day brainstorming session Sub-Regional Workshop slated to next week Tuesday, September25, 2018 at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria initiated in tandem with the Joint Standing Committee Meeting of Union of African Shippers’ Councils (UASC) has the theme:- “Port Concession in West and Central Africa; Impact on Economies of member states of the sub-region”; and is targeted at the governments of member states, International and regional organisations and other stakeholders in the Trade and Transport facilitation process in the West and Central African Sub-Region.
According to the report a major goal of the workshop is to appraise the state of maritime transportation in West and Central Africa, viz-a-viz other regions of the world, and proffer solutons to challenges facing the sector; while assessing the implementation of WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and issues relating to Port Operations.
The participants would also advocate for the development and maintenance of criticial trade support facilities/infrastructure that would promote efficiency, competitiveness and cost reduction in the carriage of goods as well as linkages to other markets.
The sub regional workshop would also pay special attention at the state of Maritime Transport in West and Central Africa, from the UNCTAD’s viewpoint; in addition to dissecting topics which includes Sealink: (as) A Panacea for boosting Intra-African Trade; charges, Surcharges and related costs of carriage of goods; Evaluation of IMO Container weighing regine Verified Gross Mass (VAM) and impact on shipping services/business.
It would be recalled that the Union of African Shippers’ Councils (UASC) as a specialised organ of the Maritime Organisation of West and Central African (MOWCA) comprises of nineteen Shippers’ Councils and similar organisations of West and Central African Countries.
The Union with its Headquarters in Douala Cameroun comprises three main organs; The General Assembly, Steering Committee and General Secretariat.
The UASC became a member of the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) in September 2010 and maintains close reletions with other international organisations, notably; World Trade Organisation (WTO), International Maritime Organisation (IMO), World Customs Organisation (WCO), United Nations Commission for International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), United Nations Conference on Trade and development (UNCTAD).
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council has over the years under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Transportation hosted the Sub-Regional Workshop that has gone a long way in the reduction of the incidence of transport cost on the economies of West and Central African Countries.