WALVIS BAY - Port users and the Namibia Ports Authority have a joint responsibility as an industry to ensure that they are competitive and cost-effective so that importers and exporters can continue to use Namibia’s ports even in difficult economic times.
Namport CEO Andrew Kanime made this observation on Friday when he addressed port users and stakeholders during a breakfast engagement to take stock of operations and business activities during the year.
The engagement made a return after a two-year absence due to Covid-19 and is one of the engagements Namport hosts to honour port users.
Kanime indicated that a challenging time still lies ahead for the sector that is still recovering from the effects of the pandemic that significantly impacted global trade.
He said global growth in the sector is still expected to slow down further in 2023.
He added that the developing world will feel the impact more as it could translate to reduced demand for exports, declining earnings, strained capacity for imports, and decrease in disposal incomes.
This he said could be a real threat to the sector’s sustainability.
“We, therefore, have to remain steadfast to navigate these stormy waters. The economies of African countries have generally been on the rebound, on the back of high energy prices, the easing of Covid-19 restrictions and the general recovery in domestic consumption. However, the developments in the northern hemisphere do pose a serious downside risk for us,” Kanime explained.
He then indicated that Namport remains resolute in its drive to be the preferred port of choice and has embarked on a drive to enhance the efficiency of its services, rationalisation of operational costs and streamlining processes to significantly reduce turnaround times as well as to increase the competitiveness of the ports.
According to him, Namport needs to position itself to be better placed to render services to port users.
“We have taken a deliberate decision to implement and accelerate our talent development, management and retention initiatives. We have identified key roles within the organisation, possible successors and the specific training and development which they would require in preparation of them being considered for the senior and/or alternative roles in future,” he said.
Photo: Competitive… The Namport container terminal.