A meeting in Dakar took stock of UNCTAD’s TradeForTrade Port Training Programme in francophone African countries and certified the programme’s latest graduates.
The main stakeholders of the French-speaking network of UNCTAD's Port Training Programme considered the programme's results and the scope for strengthening it during the 16th Coordination Meeting held 15-16 April in Dakar. In addition, the participants of the ninth cycle of the programme presented their final dissertations to a panel of experts from the member ports and participated in a graduation ceremony. The meeting was organized by UNCTAD in cooperation with Dakar Port Authority.
Attending the meeting were representatives from UNCTAD, Port of Marseille-Fos, and port communities from Benin, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea, Senegal, and Togo. Two representatives from the National Port Authority of Haiti also were present as observers. Mr. Yaya Sarr, Human Capital and Organization Director of Dakar Port Authority, opened the meeting and welcomed the 19 participants, while Mr. Mark Assaf, UNCTAD representative, delivered the opening remark and presented the agenda.
From left to right: Ms. Dopé Johnson (Port of Lomé), Mr. Amadou Yaya Sarr (Port of Dakar), Mr. Fodé Billy Camara and Mr. Mamady Diaby (Port of Conakry)
Each port community presented the programme's results and action plan for 2014-2015 in their respective countries. The participants also focused on the launch of the tenth cycle of the programme in Douala, Cameroon, and in Dakar. In this context, they highlighted the strong participation of women, who account for 16 out of 22 participants in Douala and 11 out of 20 in Dakar. Moreover, Abidjan Port Authority presented its initial results, after joining the network in 2013 and launching its first cycle the week before the coordination meeting.
According to the ports' representatives, the programme plays an important role in human resources management of their ports. For example, at Cotonou Port Authority in Benin, the training certificate is a mandatory requirement for internal promotions new staff members are recommended to apply for the course. Similarly, at Lomé Port Authority in Togo, the general director decided to facilitate the internal promotion of certified agents after noting better work performance from those who completed the programme. Representatives from Conakry Port Authority in Guinea said they had to set up an admission test due to the large number of applications received for the sixth cycle.
The port certificate enables ports to meet the challenges of competitiveness. The lessons learned through this Management Certificate, during the last fifteen years in Dakar, have produced undeniable positive results.
Mr. Cheikh Kanté
Director General, Dakar Port Authority
Following the coordination meeting, Cheikh Kanté, Director General of Dakar Port Authority, chaired a graduation ceremony for the ninth cycle. His speech highlighted the role played by the programme in further improving Dakar's port performance. "The port certificate enables ports to meet the challenges of competitiveness. The lessons learned through this Management Certificate, during the last fifteen years in Dakar, have produced undeniable positive results." Mr. Kanté said.
The programme is financed by the member port communities. It also receives support from the Port of Marseille-Fos and of the Port of Nantes, France.