African countries' maritime cooperation boosts growth
Speaking at the Africa Ports and Harbours Show in Johannesburg, maritime industry experts said that African countries must boost trade amongst themselves in order to better grow their economies and infrastructure, Media Club South Africa reports. "We need to determine how best to leverage the opportunities presented by our oceans," said Sobantu Tilayi, head of the South African Maritime Safety Association's centre for shipping services.
Referring to the current financial crisis in Europe and its impact on volumes handled in South African ports, Tilayi said that South Africa and Africa shouldn't be overly dependent on markets outside the continent for growth in their economies and maritime industries. "There is potential in Africa," he said. "If we trade amongst ourselves, economies will pick up." According to Media Club South Africa, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) CEO Tau Morwe said that ports are facilitators of trade, and that Africa is growing at a steady pace.
"Regional port organisations need to get together as a bloc," Morwe said, adding that instead of merely being a source of minerals for the rest of the world, Africa needs to develop into a world-class manufacturing zone in its own right, Media Club South Africa says.
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