ECOWAS, AU Synergy toward Maritime Transport, Security

An ECOWAS Ministerial Council Meeting held Monday, October 17, chaired Liberias Transport Minister Angela Cassell Bush, is expected to have adopted a resolution to establish a Transnational Shipping Company while at an AU gathering over the weekend, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf pushed for maritime security and the active involvement of landlocked states in the formulation of continental maritime policy.

The proposed Transnational Shipping Company is envisaged as an efficient coastal transport system that will be an alternative transportation solution to the already challenged road transport system for the effective implementation of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS), which was formulated in 1975 and revised in 1993.

ETLS protocols on the free movement of goods are aimed at eliminating all tariffs and non-tariff barriers to regional trade and harmonize product safety and other standards.

According to a press release, the one-day Ministerial Council Meeting in Lomé, Togo, was organized by ECOWAS in collaboration with the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FEWACCI). The gathering focused on the Regional Maritime Transport Project (SEALINK) and aimed to apprise the Ministers on the projects implementation status and to seek their financial and policy support to allow the project to move onto its operationalization phase.

One of the reasons why this idea of coastal transportation is important is that it will ease transportation of people, g....

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