By NOELA EBOB BISONG
The city of Limbe, South West region of Cameroon, for the first time ever, shall host the National Maritime and Ports day. The first two editions of the event took place in Douala, Littoral region. The Limbe event, to run for three days from Tuesday, January 14-16, 2020, is themed ‘the quality of services, guarantor of competitiveness in Cameroonian ports’. According to organisers, the theme goes to show the eagerness of Cameroonian ports to be competitive with respect to other African leading ports.
By hosting this year’s event in Limbe, organisers also intend to draw attention to the Limbe port, which though operational, it’s yet to get the visibility and competitiveness of a 21st century port. The event organised by the National Port Authority (NPA) also seeks to optimise the quality services in the port sector so as to further contribute to Cameroon’s growth.
Nonetheless, observers are of the opinion that the event will again serve as a platform for the Limbe deep Sea Port project to be brought to light. Sources close to The SUN have revealed that Prime Minister, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute will be in Limbe to chair the august event.
The NPA, with Gounouko Haounaye as Board Chair and Director General Josué Youmba, is a Public administrative and technical institution with legal personality and financial autonomy. It was created by Law No. 98/021 of 24 December 1998 and Enforcement Decree on its reorganisation No. 2019/172 of 05 April 2019. The NPA is a technical body supervised by the Government for the implementation of Cameroon’s national port policy, a key player in the coordination and monitoring of port activities.
As its missions, the NPA implements the national port policy as defined by the Government. As such, it is responsible for the supervision of port activities, regulation of port activities as well as monitoring and evaluation.
Some of its achievements so far include among others: Study on the port autonomy issue in Cameroon; Study of the issue of competitiveness in the exercise of port activities; Study on the establishment of measures to protect the port environment at the port of Douala; Evaluation study of the port link in the organisation of the national goods transport chain; Study of containerised traffic and its impact in Cameroonian ports; Study on the analysis of the tariffs of port professions; Establishment of a framework for collaboration and data exchange between APN and port operators etc.
The APN is currently monitoring the implementation of port concessions; establishing a platform for cooperation with the National Competition Commission; implementation of a monitoring framework for actions contributing to the protection of the port environment etc.