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Nigeria to host conference on African ports and hinterland connectivity

will be hosting the International Association of Ports and Harbours, (IAPH)
Africa Regional Conference scheduled for September 17 in Abuja.

Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, told newsmen
on Friday in Lagos that the conference themed “African Ports and Hinterland
Connectivity” would be declared open by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Bala Usman who is vice president of the IAPH, said the conference would focus
on reviewing the reality of Africa’s port sector and the challenges faced in
the hinterland connectivity, with a view to providing possible solutions to
drive growth of the sector.

She also said that the experiences of the other parts
of the world would be reviewed compared to what obtains in Africa, considering
the need to decipher the best models for the African situation.

Her words: “The IAPH Africa Conference will assemble
key experts and stakeholders in the port logistics and transport industry to
provide a deeper understanding of the concept of port hinterland connectivity.

“…discuss the experiences of port hinterland
connectivity in other parts of the world compared to Africa, explore possible critical
solutions, and recommend best home-grown models that would enable Africa to improve
on its port hinterland connectivity and intra-regional trade.”

She added that one of the sessions at the conference would look “at
options for sourcing funding and how governments can access affordable funding
for port and hinterland corridor infrastructure development.”

The NPA MD noted that at the end of the conference, participants would
want their respective governments to fully understand the importance and need
to implement policies to prioritize port hinterland connectivity for efficient
service delivery at the ports.

She said that the participating ports include: “Transnet National Port Authority (South
Africa); Kenya Ports Authority; Douala Port Authority (Cameroon); Nigerian
Ports Authority.

Others are “Cotonou
Port Authority (Benin); Abidjan Port Authority (Cote d’Ivoire); Dakar Port
Authority (Senegal); Tanger Med Port (Morocco); Port of Alexandria (Egypt), and
Antwerp Port Authority (Belgium).

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