Africa’s maritime ports are the continent’s gateway to global markets; they are vital to infra-African trade as well. Boosting the competitiveness of Africa’s ports will yield enormous benefits.

Africa has the world’s fastest growing population and some of the world’s fastest-growing economies. In terms of landmass, Africa’s size is huge: the continent is as big as all of the EU, China, India and the USA put together. Connecting Africa is important to Africans and is important to the world.Ports@work comprises both technical assistance and capacity building. The €5 million program focuses on the ports of the Western shores of the African continent, from Dakar to Lobito.

The effort spans 19 countries: Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

The program is an offshoot of the joint Africa-EU Strategic Partnership established in 2007 and of the 2009 African Maritime Transport Charter. It is funded by the European Union and managed by the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States.

The objectives are:

harmonisation of maritime safety regulations and the regional and national level
improvement of maritime safety through technical assistance and training provided at regional and national level
upgrading maritime data in ports, as well as the regional exchange of data
increasing port efficiency, in particular at cargo handling terminals

The field work is carried out by a number of international experts in three distinct components:

  • FlagPort WACAF,
  • IPSEA.