Secretary General of Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA), Dr. Paul Adalikwu has commended the government of Sierra Leone for its many plans to develop the country’s maritime potentials.
Dr. Adalikwu spoke in Free Town where he met with the Sierra Leonean Minister of Transport and Aviation, Hon Kabineh Moinama Kallon; Minister of State , Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mrs. Mamadi Gobeh Kamara and heads of maritime agencies, during his recent maiden visit to the West African country.
He expressed support for the country’s move to attract funding from African Development Bank (AfDB) for the Sierra Leone Port Authority to develop a Port Master to fully maximize its fleet of about 331 ships, representing 1,545,729 gross tonnage and over 9000 seafarers. He also pledged technical cooperation to assist the Maritime Administration build up capacity to maximize potentials of her Blue Economy and promote a sustainable marine environment through cleaning up of the coast line.
The MOWCA SG also said that a properly harnessed Sierra Leone marine environment will support the country’s job creation agenda for women and youth amongst other things. Adalikwu who praised the country’s efforts at combating illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing in its territorial waters with declaration of a ban period for commercial fishing said valuable marine resources in West and Central Africa deserve state protection.
He said that the temporary stoppage of the fishing activities would aside protecting the environment from pollution and other help in naturally replenishing stocks of marine resources
The MOWCA scribe described the country’s ratification of Maritime Labour Convention 2006 as a landmark state decision promoting fair labour practices, decent working and living conditions for seafarers in the maritime industry On March 29, 2022, Sierra Leone became the 99th Member State of the ILO to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, as amended (MLC, 2006).
It is the 23rd country in Africa and the 9th in the West African sub-region, to commit to this landmark instrument. The MLC, 2006 will enter into force for Sierra Leone on March 29, 2023, one year after its ratification. He received assurances of the country’s support and commitment to MOWCA from the Minister of Transport and Aviation and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
He had technical engagements with Dr. Abdoulai Fofana, General Manager of Sierra Port Authority and his management team with another separate session with Managing Director of Sierra Leone Maritime Administration Mr. Sama Ansu Gamanga. The visit was in fulfilment of Adalikwu’s promise to engage with member states and keep them abreast of his roadmap for an efficient and all inclusive MOWCA.
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