Youngship Nigeria Forum, a non-profit association of young professionals in the Nigerian Maritime Industry and a department of Youngship International, a non-profit organization for young people working within the global maritime industry has issued a 24-point communique, offering a way forward towards the optimization of African Seas and Oceans.
According to the 24-Point Communique obtained exclusively by Platform Reporters, the forum called on government at all levels including the private sector to cooperate for the optimization of the Seas and Oceans resources in Africa for the good of all.
Below is the full text of the communique as released by the group:
COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE VIRTUAL COMMEMORATION OF THE AFRICAN DAY OF THE SEAS AND OCEANS 2020 ORGANIZED BY THE YOUNGSHIP NIGERIA FORUM (YSN) HELD ON SATURDAY 25 TH JULY, 2020.
Youngship Nigeria Forum is a non-profit association of young professionals in the Nigerian Maritime Industry and a department of Youngship International, a non-profit organization for young people working within the global maritime industry.
The vision of the Youngship Nigeria is to be a focal organization that
promotes competence and network development among young professionals in the global maritime industry while the mission is ‘to encourage the development of young minds in the maritime industry through advocacy, networking and industry exposure’.
The YSN has its core values and corporate culture as professionalism, integrity, competence, leadership, accountability and global network.
The Youngship Nigeria provides a platform that allows all its members to
build broader understanding of the industry through collaboration which in turn provides the industry with motivated generation of young professionals.
The Association is focused on promoting entrepreneurship and youth
participation in the global maritime industry through advocacy,
entrepreneurship and mentorship.
As part of its advocacy programs for sustainable development and
optimization of the opportunities within the African Maritime Environment, the Youngship Nigeria held a webinar session in commemoration of 2020 African Day of the Seas and Oceans with the theme: African Seas and Oceans: Opportunities, Strengths and Threats.
The theme of the webinar elucidated discussions around the opportunities,
strengths and threats within the African maritime environment with panelists drawn from the academia and the maritime industry from across Africa who gave the subject of discuss a broad-based perspective and recommendations among whom were Professor Iyiola Oni- Professor of Geography and Regional Planning, University of Lagos; and Dr. Awwal Bamanga, Chief Marine Environment Management Officer, representing the DG NIMASA.
Other panelists include: Engr. Jatto Adams, General Manager Corporate and Strategic Communications representing MD Nigerian Ports Authority; Mr. Lamin Komma, Head, Coastal and Marine Environment Agency, National Environment Agency of Gambia; and Dr. Mobolaji Stephens, Lecturer at Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria.
Participants were drawn from across Africa and other parts of the world
leveraging technology to remove physical barriers.
After four hours of intense paper delivery and discuss, the followings are the high points of the intellectual discuss and proffered way forward for the
optimization of the African Seas and Oceans for sustainable development
and socio-economic well-being of the African continent.
- That African Seas and Oceans being part of the African Marine
Environment which also includes bays, estuaries, rivers, streams and
other major water bodies as well as their surface interface and
interaction with the atmosphere and with the land areas influenced by tide are home to diverse species of living organism including but not limited to whales, fishes, planktons, corals etc., and provides one of the most important trade/shipping route in the world.
- Consequent on 1 above, the African Seas and Oceans and the
resources therein are critical to the development and socio-economic
wellbeing of the African continent.
- That since the African Seas and Oceans impact on the living standards
of the African populace by providing habitat to millions of discovered
and undiscovered beneficial living and non-living organisms, affects
weather conditions, help to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
preventing climate change, provides sources of drinking water to
humans and animals, provides food and essential elements for humans and animals, provides numerous sources of income to the African
populace, provides viable research and tourist destination as well as
provides indispensable and cost effective means of local and global
transportation of goods and services among other benefits, the
preservation of the African Seas and Oceans and the entire African
Maritime Environment should be prioritized by all for sustainable
development and socio-economic well-being of Africans.
- That government at local, national, regional, continental and inter-
continental levels as well as the private sector should cooperate for the optimization of the Seas and Oceans resources in Africa for the good of all.
- That marine pollution, maritime piracy, maritime terrorism and
criminality as well as poor and under developed intra-African transport system are key threats to the maximization of the opportunities presented by the African Seas and Oceans and should be eschewed by all for common good.
- That gas flaring, production and transportation spills, poor waste
management systems, marine litters, indiscriminate ballast water
discharges and the release of carbon monoxide from land and sea
based sources are central to trapping heat in the atmosphere resulting
in global warming and climate change.
- That there is very low intra-African trade when compared with other
- That the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement was
identified as good development for enhancing and optimizing African
seas and oceans resources due to expected increase in intra-African
- That AfCFTA will result in a cumulative gross domestic product (GDP)
of more than US$3.4 trillion, and would be the world’s largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organization.
- That the AfCFTA has the potential to increase intra-African trade
by 52.3% by eliminating import duties within the first four years of its
- That despite huge infrastructure deficit, institutional instability,
regulatory and policy issues among other problems, there are huge
prospects for the shippers and Africa’s maritime development with the launch of AfCFTA
- That effective legislation, implementation, enforcement,
monitoring and evaluation are tools for ensuring sustainable Blue
Economy in Nigeria and Africa
- That effective regulatory framework, pressure group actions and
stakeholder engagement are vital for the development of African Seas
- That there is need to review terminal operations, land use and
berth allocation policies for better port operations and performance.
- That investments are needed in cargo handling equipment and
capacity building to enhance efficiency of the African ports.
- That there is need to establish efficient transshipment points for
robust transport systems especially to the landlocked nations in Africa.
- That healthy terminal competition was necessary for port
efficiency and productivity.
- That automation/electronic documentation and timely cargo
inspection is the way forward for port throughput efficiency and capacity maximization.
- That the use of railway services for cargo movement into and
from the ports is inevitable to reduce cargo dwell time and guarantee
- That efficient and smart land based transport infrastructure that
links all cargo generating and attracting points to railway network as
well as parks for high capacity cargo carrying vehicles is imperative.
- That there should be created, smart vehicles that can
communicate with each other and with cargo generating and attracting points to boost trade.
- That there should be developed, a national policy/framework to
enable the adoption, implementation and enforcement of smart
transport system for improved maritime trade.
- That the African youths must be deliberately engaged and carried
along in the harnessing and development of the African Seas and
Oceans to guarantee continuity and eliminate needless and costly
- The Youngship Forum Nigeria seized the opportunity to call on all
Nigerian Youths to continue to eschew violence and criminality
especially maritime piracy, armed robbery at sea and similar vices and to join the Youngship movement in charting a better future and
participation for the next generation of maritime professional in Nigeria, Africa and the globe.
EMEGHEBO M. CHIGOZIE USMAN SHUAIBU
(NATIONAL SECRETARY, YSN) (NATIONAL PRESIDENT, YSN)