West and Central Africa are expected to converge in Nigeria in November to discuss the role of ports in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Scheduled from the 6th to the 9th of November 2023 at the Lagos Continental Hotel, the conference will be declared open by President Bola Tinubu.
Themed ‘The Role of Ports in the African Continental Free Trade Area,’ the conference is a platform for the cross-fertilisation of ideas, experiences and knowledge sharing to guide the formulation of necessary policies towards maximising the maritime comparative advantage of the sub-region.
The Port Management Association of West & Central Africa (PMAWCA) also conferred the hosting right of its 43rd Annual Council and 18th Managing Directors’ Roundtable on the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in recognition of the remarkable improvements demonstrated by advancing the frontiers of trade facilitation.
Adegboyega Oyetola, minister of Marine and Blue Economy, said the gathering of maritime experts is very timely as it is coming when Nigeria is eager to provide the leadership necessary to convert its marine and blue economy potential to actualities.
He said doing so will provide opportunities for Nigeria’s growing youth population.
“To demonstrate the premium Nigeria places on maximising the emerging opportunities of AfCFTA which is the focal point of the conference, we have given the Nigerian Ports Authority all the support necessary for a flawless hosting,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Mohammed Bello-Koko, managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, told the media that its confidence in hosting the conference is demonstrated by NPA’s readiness to provide regional leadership in port competitiveness.
“This was inspired by the uncommon trade facilitation orientation of Mr. President who is already endorsing some of our initiatives for the maximisation of our littoral assets under the auspices of the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy,” he added.