By Godfrey Bivbere
Former Chairman of the Association of African Maritime Administrations, AAMA, Sobantu Tilayi has called on African nations to work at growing their economies and increasing their seafarers’ base in order to grow its global trade participation beyond 2.5 percent.
Tilayi who disclosed at the last AAMA Conference in Abuja, decried the fact that Africa presently controls 2.5 percent of global trade figures by volume and less than one percent participation in the global maritime industry.
He stated: “We must increase our participation in the global trade and the only way to achieve this is to increase our economies, the number of seafarers coming from South Africa, Nigeria among others and also the size of our Gross Domestic Products, GDP, in relation to the various economies in the continent.
“Another way to achieve this is to increase our participation, increase our tonnages, that is the number of ships on each country’s fleet, increase the number of ships registered in our flags, we should also ensure that our laws are aligned to international best practice, we enthrone a regime of ease of doing business in the various countries in the continent.
“Africa’s contribution to the world trade is to the value of the trade of the countries in the continent, we control 2.5 per cent of global trade figures by volume and our participation in the maritime industry is less than one per cent.
“We have also insisted that the regional economic communities manage to have maritime articulation in their various strategies and I think that that in itself has managed to get us into the profile raised for the maritime industry.
“If you go by the reports from Nigeria and South Africa and I also do know that in Kenya, the number of seafarers is beginning to increase, the number of people employed in the maritime industry is also beginning to increase. All these have been the value of our efforts.”