On Thursday 1st July 2021, Patrice MELOM, General Manager of the Port Authority of Kribi (PAK) and Kristof WATERSCHOOT, Managing Director of the Port of Antwerp International (PAI) renewed by videoconference the Memorandum of Understanding between their two wompanies which expired last 27 June 2021.
Both partners have decided to extend their cooperation. Hence, now onwards they are going to work jointly on an array of domains such as assistance and counseling in the planning, development and construction of port infrastructures and logistic and industrial platforms. The cooperation will also involve promoting the establishment of companies interested in operating simultaneously in both ports and their respective areas of activity. The agreement equally included carrying out promotion with shipping lines in order to increase trade and traffic between both ports.
Initially, the cooperation framework agreed on in June 2018 focused mainly on marketing and business development. Three years later, there is a need for improvement to have it fit the rise of the Port of Kribi. Furthermore, the long experience and the proven expertise of the Port of Antwerp needed to be used once again since as 2nd major European port, Antwerp is equally specialised in consulting, port management and investments in overseas port projects.
Through these new areas of cooperation, PAK and PAI aim to strengthen the pillars supporting the rise of the Port of Kribi which intends to become the reference industrial port in the Gulf of Guinea. Such pillars are digitization and technology innovation on the one hand, and the permanent search for organizational performance on the other hand as stated by Patrice MELOM in his speech. Thus, Kribi wants to be able to draw on Antwerp’s long experience in specific issues, including the development of accommodation capacities and operational performance. Added to this first list are the attractiveness of the port’s industrial zone, connectivity to the hinterland and the efficiency of the corridors and many others.
In his statement, Kristof WATERSCHOOT began by commending such ambition and congratulating the Top Management on this leadership. He reaffirmed PAI’s commitment to ‘‘create, develop and share with PAK a common future built around ideas, actions, and high value-added growth experiences for the benefit of both our ports’’.
The new Cooperation Agreement is a good example of the strength of the cooperation between Cameroon and Belgium. It was renewed for a 3-year period, i.e., 2021 to 2024.