South African and Namibian port authorities sign MoU

South Africa and Namibian port authorities sign MoUSouth Africa’s Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Namibian Port Authority (Namport) to share technical expertise and help develop competitiveness of trade in the region

The MoU is the second agreement TNPA has signed with ports in Southern and Eastern Africa following its MoU with the Maputo Port Development Corporation in June 2013.

Tau Morwe, chief executive of TNPA said, “Given the strategic similarities of our respective ports from a geographic perspective and the proximity to industrial zones we recognise the importance of improving our relationship and collaboration.”

The collaboration is expected to result in the sharing of maritime experiences and exchange of technical expertise in relation to port management, port operations, port environment and security as well as training of employees, TNPA said.

Information sharing will include policies on a wide range of topics such as infrastructure development, improving the port environment and commercial waterfront development which will help enhance trade and maritime services, the authority added.

Bisey Uirab, chief executive of Namport said the agreement will also contribute to the competitiveness of the SADC region's trade through the efficient, reliable and cost-effective supply of port service.

Regional integration is in line with Transnet’s Market Demand Strategy which calls for a review of the state-owned entity’s role in the development of the East-West logistics corridor.

Morwe said, “We believe that in a spirit of co-operation we can be exponentially more efficient and play a key role in lifting intra-regional trade within the SADC region from its current level of 12 per cent.

“What we can achieve remains to be seen, but we should aspire to achieve the figures of other leading regional economic communities such as those of Asia and Europe where intra-regional trade is in the region of 60 per cent.”

Morwe added, “In reality, it means that Namport can access the capacity and expertise of TNPA at a lower cost than that of European or Eastern ports. For example, the Maritime School of Excellence, a leader in marine training on the continent, is available for technical and maritime training as is our port planning and engineering expertise and Safety, Health and Quality (SHEQ) expertise.”

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