The Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) has asked governments and maritime administrations in both regions to harmonize training curricular for improved maritime manpower development.
Secretary General of MOWCA, Dr Paul Adalikwu, who made the call during his maiden working courtesy visit to the Regional Academy of Science and Technology of the Sea of Abidjan (ARSTM) advised the maritime training institutions in the region to collaborate for what he called institutional peer review interactions, comparing facilities and interfacing for common good.
Dr. Adalikwu also urged stakeholders to look inwards to achieve issuance of globally accepted Certificate of Competency (CoC) within West and Central African regions.
While commending the ARSTM for its continuous infrastructural and technical improvements, Dr. Adalikwu said the dream of mass production of qualified maritime professionals to man modern ships and administer ports in the regions could be achieved faster if the best trainers and facilities are put in place.
The MOWCA scribe stated that the cost of acquiring maritime training and acceptable certification has caused some students and cadets to halt their training because the payments are made mostly in foreign currencies.
In his words: “As a region blessed with vast maritime space with rich economic potentials, we should aim at producing qualified seafarers, port administrators, logistics professionals and others from our academies.
“Multiple benefits such as job creation, security, pollution prevention and others that could fall out from this drive cannot be overemphasized
“I am optimistic of the workability of an African wide cabotage regime that will be supported by revolving funds from the Regional Maritime Development Bank (RMDB) when it takes off to enable more Africans own ships with trained personnel sought from the continent
“I advise that our maritime training institutions should liaise together, share knowledge and seek to collectively achieve our desired improvement with our available facilities and improving faculties across countries” he said
For his part, Col. Karim Coulibaly, Director General of ARSTM thanked the MOWCA SG for his visit and sought closer working relationship. He added that the academy will always be focused on meeting regional and global standards in its core areas of training.
The ARSTM DG took Dr. Adalikwu and his team around the academy’s facilities.
ARSTM is an organ of MOWCA responsible for quality training of Managers and professionals in the Maritime and port sector in the MOWCA sub region.