15 May 06 - Port management training for Portuguese-speaking countries
Training and career development of port personnel are two of the issues that will be discussed at the port management meeting UNCTAD is organizing in Portugal on 16-18 May. Participants are Portuguese-speaking port operators from the least developed countries.
UNCTAD´s TrainForTrade Programme is organizing a meeting of port operators from Timor-Leste and the five Portuguese-speaking countries of Africa in Porto, Portugal, from 16 to 18 May. The five countries are:
- Cape Verde
- Guinea Bissau
- Sao Tome and Principe
The objective of the meeting is to expand the network of Portuguese-speaking port communities and encourage participants to exchange expertise in the training of port personnel.
The programme began in 2002, when 65 countries meeting in Porto, Portugal, approved a new strategy to help countries improve their port operations. The outcome was a series of training programmes in Benin, Gabon, Cameroon, Guinea, Senegal, Togo, Tunisia, Angola, Cape Verde and Cambodia.
Since then, more than 400 port operators have been trained. The programme includes 240 hours of training on themes ranging from the organization and functioning of port systems to international trade and transport and the use of information technologies in port management.
To complete the programme and obtain the UNCTAD Port Certificate, participants must prepare a "thesis" on a specific issue concerning their port and defend it before a jury of international port experts.
"The key to success has to be the local implication and ownership of the programme," says Xavier Alphaize, coordinator of the TrainForTrade Programme.
Not only is the programme entirely funded by participating countries, but local instructors are trained to replicate it. National committees are created to lead the implementation and set priorities.
Following the meeting in Portugal, participants will propose candidates to be trained as instructors in Porto this summer.