Secretary General of the Ports Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA), Mr. Micheal Achagwe Luguje, on Monday 2 July 2018, officially assumed office as Director General of the Ghana Ports and Habours Authority (GPHA).
Luguje’s appointment was approved in June by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, following his decision to sack the erstwhile Director General Mr. Paul Asare. The Director of Tema Ports, Mr. Edward Kofi Osei, was directed to hold forth while Luguje “clears” his desk at the PMAWCA Secretariat in Lagos, Nigeria.
An accomplished bilingual port management specialist, who has served at very senior levels at international port and maritime institutions, Luguje’s managerial skills, will no doubt help GPHA to reposition Ghana as the preferred hub of maritime commerce in West Africa, in line with President’s Akufo-Addo’s vision.
Luguje has garnered extensive cognate experience in the ports sector of West and Central Africa; as a reforms and change expert with remarkable achievements in team building, employee motivation, and strict adherence to service quality and productivity.
Luguje joined GPHA in 1999 after serving as a National Youth Intern with the organization the previous year. During his early days, he distinguished himself as a disciplined pacesetter and rose to become Special Assistant to the Director General of GPHA about five years after joining the organization.
He secured his first high profile international job in 2007 as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Regional Coordinator for West and Central Africa. IMO is the United Nations specialized agency responsible for global regulation of shipping and maritime transport.
After five years with the IMO, he was elected as Secretary General of the Port Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) in 2012. PMAWCA is a sub-regional intergovernmental economic organization, made up of 23 Regular Member Ports and 9 Associate Members including landlocked countries and maritime organizations, all located along the Western Atlantic Coast of the African continent, stretching from Mauritania to Angola.
While on his tour of duty at PMAWCA, he also served as Executive Secretary of the Pan African Association of Port Cooperation (PAPC), the continental body for the three regional port associations, from 2012 to 2017.
Luguje holds an Executive MBA in Project and Strategic Management from the Paris Graduate School of Management and Master of Science in Maritime Affairs (Port Management Specialization) from the World Maritime University (WMU), Malmo – Sweden. He is also a Graduate of French and Linguistics, University of Ghana (Legon). He has attended numerous professional training seminars and workshops on port reforms, human resource management, performance indicators, concessions management and project management.
As Secretary General of PMAWCA, Luguje engendered greater vibrancy and prudency in the affairs of the Association. In 2017, he mobilized member ports from the region to support the candidacy of Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, who became the first to be elected Vice President (Africa Region) of the International Association of Ports and Habours (IAPH), under its new constitution.
President of PMAWCA and Chairman of Cape Verde’s Port Administration, Mr. Jorge Pimenta Mauricio, in a communication to the chief executives of all regular and associate Member Ports wrote: “As you will all agree with me, PMAWCA must be proud and grateful to the President of the Republic of Ghana and his Government for this appointment which is not only in recognition of Mr. Micheal Luguje’s professional competence as an individual, but also an endorsement of PMAWCA as a beacon of rich skills and competence in port management from which our Governments can obtain the best experts to serve at the highest level in all key areas of the port, logistics and maritime transport sector.
Over the last six years of his stewardship as Secretary General, PMAWCA can attest to Mr. Luguje’s professional competence, team spirit and dedication to producing good results, which has repositioned our Association among the best sub-regional port organizations in Africa and beyond. We therefore have no doubt that he would be successful in his new role as Director General of the GPHA.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, Council and members of the Association, I extend our congratulations to Mr. Luguje on his appointment and wish him best success in this new role of higher responsibility”.
Although his notice of resignation has been formally received, the Association’s President has requested Luguje to maintain general supervision over the work of the PMAWCA Secretariat for the month of July so that the 39th PMAWCA Council Meeting which will hold in Accra at the end of July could take a decision on modalities to elect a new Secretary General.
Port policy and management specialist with extensive experience in port reforms, port supply chain and trade facilitation, privatization, business development, human resource management, port and maritime institutional cooperation at the regional and continental level:
• Provided overall leadership, policy advice, coordination and implementation for the over 20 member States Port Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA); as well as the Pan African Association for Ports Cooperation (PAPC) covering the entire port sector of Africa (August 2012 – Date).
• Proposed and implemented key reforms at PMAWCA and the PAPC which strengthened their finances, improved their comparative advantage to key industry partners such as the World Bank, EU, US Coast Guard, ECOWAS and the AUC, as a key reference entity for port related policy formulation and trade facilitation (August 2012 – Date).
• Provided global port sector inputs to help the ports to reposition themselves and look beyond direct port business and to mainstream trade facilitation and business development as part of their overall objectives. Also proposed and implemented key reforms at the Secretariat of the two bodies (PMAWCA and PAPC) leading to reduced costs and improved results. (August 2012 – Date).
• Conducted needs’ assessments for member ports of West and Central Africa, recommended relevant training in port concessions management, port performance indicators, contemporary humans resources management, port efficiency and optimal infrastructure utilization, port community systems and trade single windows etc., and recruited consultants to provide needed training to member ports.
• Proposed and initiated key reforms of the PMAWCA regional port training Centre to provide best value training programmes for the benefit of member ports and the transport sector in general.
• Played active roles in various trade facilitation committees in Ghana for the development of trade to and from Ghana’s landlocked neighbouring countries. In this project, worked with Customs, Insurance companies, Shippers’ Council and host of other stakeholders in the trade development and facilitation drive.
• Drafted terms of reference, identified and recruited course consultants, advised on course content, and chaired a regional course on trade single windows and port community systems for 15 ports and other maritime sector institutions from over 20 countries (2017).
• Drafted terms of reference, identified and recruited course consultants, advised on course content, and served as resource person for a regional course on port concessions management for 12 ports in West and Central Africa (2014). Based on the lessons learned from the course, produced draft Policy Guideline on Port Concessions Management for ports of West and Central Africa.
• Drafted terms of reference, identified and recruited course consultants, advised on course content, and served as resource person for a regional course on port performance indicators for participants from 15 ports in West, Central and East Africa (2015). Based on the lessons learned from the course, drafted proposals for a selected number of standard indicators for further development and ultimate adoption and implementation by ports in the region.
• Prepared and delivered a course on Options for financing a Deep water port: Management retreat workshop by Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Accra, Ghana 2011.
• As Local Port sector specialist (West Africa), under a contract by The Services Group (TSG) and AECOM, for USAID support programme for Ghana’s trade and industry programme for a competitive export economy (TIPCEE), conducted a comparative field study of seaport/airport logistics facilities, Port fees and Customs goods clearance procedures for imports and exports in Ghana, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and Nigeria. Produced single country reports on the study, a consolidated 5-country comparative report, presented the findings to a Stakeholders’ validation workshop and produced the final report. Under an extended contract, also conducted a study on the contribution of Port Community (Development) Associations as essential tools for port trade growth and facilitation in West and Central Africa (2008-2009).
• Prepared and delivered a seminal lecture on West Africa Maritime Policy Administration and Shipping Potential – to the graduating Maritime MBA Class of the Hamburg Business School, Hamburg, Germany – November 2009
• Researched and produced 5-country comparative study on landlocked countries’ transit trade corridors and facilitation in West Africa (MSc academic study);
• Researched and produced study on Ghana’s Tema Port cargo clearance process, procedure and costs, covering all sector players and impact on trade facilitation (MBA academic study 2007);
• Team member for GPHA’s technical assistance programme to the Government of Sierra Leone, which provided training to management personnel of the Sierra Leone Ports Authority (SLPA) on options for private sector participation in port operations and management. This training facilitated the buy-in by SLPA’s management for the introduction of PPP in the country’s port sector (2004 – 2005);
• Served on the management team that executed the privatisation of cargo handling services in Ghana’s ports (GPHA), including the concessioning of the MPS container terminal in Tema, Ghana (2002-2004);
• Assisted in the review of commercial aspects of the MPS Concession agreement and monitoring of compliance with various concession agreements by private stevedoring companies, shore handling companies and other private port service providers in Ghana’s ports of Tema and Takoradi (2004 – 2007);
• Team member for the review of staff training policy of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) – 2000.
Professional Consulting experience
• Consulted (short term advisory basis) for global investors with interest in Africa’s port sector through partner consulting firms including Qalis (France) and AlphaSights (London/Dubai); (2015 – 2016)
• Provided key expert support services to a number of renowned international consulting firms including MTBS (Holland), Duca Consulting (USA), BENOM Consult (Ghana), and CODEX SA (Cote d’Ivoire) (since 2010)
• Served as Port Sector Specialist for a USAID funded Trade and Industry Programme for a Competitive Export Economy (TIPCEE) project for Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry in Ghana (2008/2009)
• Provided expert services in regional port tariff surveys and landlocked transit trade respectively on a joint project by the Ghana Shippers Authority; Burkina Faso Chamber of Commerce and State Insurance Company Ltd of Ghana on transit trade facilitation mechanisms for single transit bond for landlocked countries using Ghana’s ports (2000 – 2001).