Gambia Reiterates Support For Adalikwu-led MOWCA, Seeks Technical Cooperation

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Secretary General, Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA), Dr Paul Adalikwu (left) during a meeting with Gambian Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, Hon. Bai Lamin Jobe, in Banjul, recently. (Credit: The Nigerian Tribune)

By The Nigerian Tribune

The government of the Gambia has reiterated its support for Dr. Paul Adalikwu, Secretary General of the Maritime Organization of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) and expressed commitment to the success of his administration.

Bai Lamin Jobe, the Gambian minister of transport, works and infrastructure, said this in Banjul when he received the MOWCA scribe, who came on a working visit as part of efforts to rebuild confidence, reposition the organization for efficiency and make it more beneficial to member states.

Mr. Jobe expressed profound support for the new leadership of MOWCA and pledged to contribute to its success in many ways, including financial commitment of the Gambia.

He spoke on the country’s determination during the election process to ensure Nigeria and, in fact, Dr. Adalikwu, a native of Obudu, in northern Cross River State of Nigeria, emerge as Secretary General, underpinning Nigeria/Gambia decades of relationship.

The minister assured that Gambia will sign up the charter for the Regional Maritime Development Bank and anticipates a robust participation of the West African country in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement through its maritime and other sectors.

The Gambian authorities also requested technical cooperation and maritime capacity building to enable it to harness the derivable benefits from its maritime sector.

Aside from meeting with the minister, the MOWCA Secretary General also met with the Deputy Director-General of the Gambia Maritime Authority (GMA), Mr. Ousman Torey, who listed high freight rates due to bureaucratic challenges and inadequate staff training as part of its challenges.

He recalled that the GMA had embarked on understudy visits to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the port of Mombasa in Kenya.

He also said that lack of placement on board vessels for seafarers and cadets, improved training for GMA staff and short courses for women and youths are areas they look up to MOWCA for technical support.

Adalikwu, in his response, aligned with the GMA needs and promised that they would benefit from being a member of MOWCA. He informed that engagement is ongoing with the President of the World Maritime University in Malmö and Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization in London to ensure technical assistance to member states and provide capacity building for all member countries such as the Gambia.

Adalikwu also visited the Managing Director of the Gambia Port Authority and the Nigerian Embassy in Banjul as part of enhanced familiarization and broader interaction.

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