The amount of freight carried annually between West Africa and the port of Antwerp is nearly 17 million tonnes. Port of Antwerp therefore collaborates closely with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), which manages six ports in Nigeria, and the port of Cotonou in Benin. As part of this partnership representatives of the Antwerp port community visited both countries from 24 to 29 November.
Temporary management of Cotonou
Cotonou is one of the most important seaports in the region, handling trade with Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali. To further develop and expand this position the government has decided to temporarily contract out management of the port.
Since 2018 Port of Antwerp has supported the port of Cotonou in modernising its facilities and expanding the port. This role is played by Port of Antwerp International (PAI), a Port of Antwerp subsidiary. In addition various port professionals from Cotonou have followed tailor-made training programmes offered by APEC, the Port of Antwerp training centre.
MoU signed with ports in Nigeria
During the visit to the port of Lagos, Nigeria, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by PAI, APEC and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), under which PAI and APEC will provide training and consulting for the port of Lagos.
Kristof Waterschoot, CEO of PAI and APEC, explained: "We see great potential in the port of Lagos. Thanks to the growing economy there has been a substantial increase in the volume of trade with Europe. With this intensive collaboration we will be able to advise the port of Lagos and make our know-how available."
View the interview with Kristof Waterschoot (CEO of PAI) and port alderman Annick De Ridder shown by the African broadcaster CNBC: