Dr. Paul Adalikwu, the newly elected Secretary General of the Maritime Organization of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) and other officials concluded engagements with the Sierra Leone Ports Authority (SLPA) and other stakeholders in the maritime sector including the Ministry of Transport and Aviation at the Conference Room of SLPA on the 24th May 2022.
During his engagement with the Management of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority(SLPA) at the Freetown Port Queen Elizabeth II Quay, Dr. Adalikwu said his visit was to assess the country’s maritime challenges as, according to him, Sierra Leone would be used as one of the pilot countries in examining the maritime challenges in the sub-region.
The newly elected MOWCA Scribe said he inherited a dormant organization which his administration is working to revamp. He therefore called on the Sierra Leone Ports Authority (SLPA) and other stakeholders in the maritime industry for their support.
He pledged his commitment to mobilize all countries in West and Central Africa to maximize their maritime potentials for their individual economic growth and the collective interests of all.
On his part, SLPA General Manager ,Dr. Abdulai Fofanah, welcomed Dr. Paul Adalikwu and team for the fruitful engagements. He pledged the Authority’s unflinching support to the West and Central Africa maritime body.
Dr. Fofanah said the Port has challenges despite the phenomenal reforms his administration has ushered in since he took over. He highlighted capacity building and other technical challenges including developing a Port Master Plan.
SLPA Deputy General Manager, Yankuba Askia Bio, in a similar vein, informed the visiting team that the Sierra Leone Ports Authority has made considerable reforms in the area of maritime safety and security. He referenced the Authority’s recent pass in the International Safety and Port Security Facility (ISPS) Audit Code.
The engagement was chaired by the Sierra Leone Ports Authority Company Secretary and Head of Legal Affairs, Martin Maada George (Esq.) who assured the MOWCA Secretary General that the Authority is open up for partnership with maritime institutions for structural and economic growth.
It was disclosed that the Maritime Organization for the West and Central Africa (MOWCA) was established in May 1975 (Charter of Abidjan) at a Ministerial Conference of West and Central African States on Maritime Transport (MINCONMAR). The name was changed to MOWCA as part of reforms adopted by the General Assembly of Ministers of Transport, at an extraordinary session of the Organization held in Abidjan, the Republic of Cote D’Ivoire from 4th-6th August 1999.
The objective of MOWCA is to serve the regional and international community for handling all maritime matters that are regional in character.
MOWCA unifies Twenty-Five (25) countries on the West and Central African shipping range (inclusive of five(5) landlocked countries). These countries comprise of Twenty (20) coastal States bordering the North and South Atlantic Ocean, and to expand the maritime link for landlocked countries. The Ports of the Ocean interfacing countries provide the seaborne trade of those that are landlocked.