By Mama A Touray
The Gambia through the Gambia Ports Authority has on Thursday commenced a two-day Port Management Association for West and Central Africa (PWAWCA) board of directors meeting.
Speaking at the opening of the two-day meeting held at the African Princess Hotel, Kololi, the Minister of Works and Infrastructure, Hon Ebrima Sillah expressed the need for the association to formulate strategies aimed at addressing the challenges inherent in their administrations.
He added that the meeting of the board of directors in Banjul will discuss and arrive at resolutions that will contribute towards the further development of the association, ports, and maritime institutions within West and Central Africa.
The Minister however stated that it is an undeniable fact that ports in this part of the world and indeed the member country of the association which the directors represent in the ongoing meeting play a crucial role in the socioeconomic development of their countries.
He continued that “as the line Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure responsible for providing oversight to The Gambia Ports Authority among other maritime agencies. We have been reliably informed that the Gambia is one of the founding fathers of the establishment of the Port Management Association for West and Central Africa in Freetown, Sierra Leone in 1972.”
Adding that it is a coincidence of history while the association is celebrating its 58th anniversary of existence, the Gambia Ports Authority also celebrated its golden jubilee.
Ousman Jobarteh, the Managing Director of The Gambia Ports Authority in his opening remarks noted that the agenda of the Board meeting include an assessment of the 2022 activity report of the Association, review of the 2022 audit report, consideration and approval of the 2023 budget and draft programme for the hosting of the 43rd Council meeting tenable in the Republic of Nigeria in November this year.
He hoped that the group of Directors of the Board of the Ports Management Association for West and Central Africa, Managing Directors from the sister ports of Gabon, Nigeria, Guinea, Senegal, Equatorial Guinea, and indeed The Gambia, will dilate on topical issues that will enhance sustainable operations and management of ports within the West and Central African sub-region as they continue to serve as engines of economic growth.
Meanwhile, Goodwill Alini Yandjangoye, President of the PWAWCA on behalf of the board of directors expressed his gratitude and thanked the directors for attending the meeting.