More women involvement required in maritime sector: Difeto

Chairperson of the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA), Phyllis Difeto has acknowledged the need for more involvement by women within the maritime sector.

Difeto, during the PMAESA Annual General Meeting taking place in Swakopmund on Tuesday, said that concerted efforts are required to encourage women in the maritime industry to take up crucial roles.

‘PMAESA’s adopted constitution outlines how to become a member of the organisation and how to participate, among other guidelines. It outlines the strategic objectives and the capacity creation and acquiring women into very critical positions between attempts,’ she said.

‘So in order for this dream to be realised, maritime organisations just need to make sure that they become associated with the mother board to enjoy these benefits while also realising the inclusion of women and bringing them along at meetings of this nature, which in turn bring about capacity development, among others,’ she stressed.

Namibia Ports Authority (
Namport) Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Kanime said ports in SADC are often listed as some of the main bottlenecks to the efficacy of trade flow, together with attendant prohibitive charges, thereby impacting the competitiveness of exports in international markets. Reasons for the bottlenecks, according to Kanime, range from poor management and planning, inadequate regulatory systems, old and insufficient equipment, and deficiencies in support infrastructure.

‘With 16 out of Africa’s 54 states landlocked, the impact of high port costs and competitiveness is even more acute and broader. We must hence jointly consider interventions and mechanisms which will streamline our processes not only in our ports but across the whole logistics value chain and reduce the costs of doing business through our ports and trade corridors so that we play our part towards intra-Africa trade, economic development, and continental integration,’ he said.

PMAESA was founded in 1973 during a forum of Transport Ministers hosted by t
he United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. It provides a platform for stakeholders in the port and maritime transport sector in and around eastern and southern Africa for the exchange of best practices and information on various ports and maritime-related activities in line with its mandate. The organisation consists of 23 member countries.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency