is up and
This laudable Sealink project,
according to FEWACCI, will link all the 15 West African countries and those in
Central Africa to facilitate trade and the movement of goods and people, and
thereby help to grow the economies of these regions.
The modus operandi of the initiative is
to set up a transnational company to be owned by investors from all member
countries of the regions, with its headquarters in one of the ECOWAS member
states and representative offices in these countries.
The vision for this project is to
foster inter-regional maritime passenger and freight services as a catalyst to
trade development in and between sub-regions in Africa.
It is, therefore, out to complement and
improve existing transportation (road and airline) services by providing
additional capacity and the alternative of ocean transport routes.
While Africa has the lowest
intra-continental trade in the world, West Africa, which formed the Economic
Community of West African States on 28 May 1975 to promote economic integration
through free movement of goods and people, has been suffering from the severe
ailment of sub-regional trade deficiency more than every other region of the
Trade across member countries has been
seriously impeded due to lack of cooperation in promoting free movement of
people and goods, which is largely responsible for the economic backwardness
and slow development of the region.
Land and air routes have not really
helped either, as traders and people find it extremely difficult to move and
trade across the region due to delay and excessive logistical costs encountered
by people through the mushroom of checkpoints and high freight costs they have
to grapple with, when they venture in regional trade activities.
But with the Sealink project, this
inimical situation will be a thing of the past, as countries in the region can
grow economically by trading among each other.
Nations would also grow in capital
through expanded investment opportunities, as well as develop through the
increased growth of the middle class level of people, who would be making a lot
The project will open up lots of
opportunities because of services the operation will demand.
There will be new entrants and new
companies that will help the economy to grow at every level and every sector, and
the nation ultimately would benefit from the activities.
Sub-Saharan Africa needs to have her
own vessels carrying her own raw materials, her own finished products and her
own people; this is important for the region to effectively compete globally.
''Sealink will connect all the ports in
the 15 ECOWAS member countries transporting both cargo and passengers.”
Bai Matarr Drammeh