African Ship Owners Association has drafted an agenda to create an African Cabotage Act in order to establish maritime hub in Africa and as a working document for the African Union (AU) heads of government meeting in Lome, Togo come March, 2016.
According to the President of the African Shipowners Association, Mr. Temisan Omatseye who made the disclosure at the African Maritime Conference with the theme: African Cargo For African Shipowners, said “What we are trying to do as an African Cabotage, is to create a hub, for example, if Nigeria is not efficient the hub could go to Lome or Cotonou, under this system all big vessels will berth at the hub, the country where the hub is has priority next is the countries within the region and finally other African countries.”
He added, “That means, we will have national cabotage, regional cabotage and African cabotage. So, we are not looking for international trade, let us take control of our environment first.
“We need to change our trading terms, any cargo exported to Africa needs to be on CIF bases which means, we own the cargo and we decide where the ship goes while our import terms will be on Free On Board which means when your vessel gets to one of our port do not move from port to port we will send our ships to come to your vessel to collect the cargo,” he further explained.
Similarly, in her open address, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission,, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma stated “As we move towards our vision of Africa in 2063, we must speed up our efforts to build, develop and maintain the necessary infrastructure to support Africa’s accelerated integration and growth.”
Zuma who was represented by Kame Samuel enthused that agenda 2063 which states that Africa’s Blue/ocean economy shall be a major contributor to continental transformation and growth through knowledge of marine and aquatic biotechnology is the key to an African maritime industry.