Sealink Bhd : to Connect 15 Ports in ECOWAS Region FEWACCI President

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05/21/2016 | 09:44am GMT

The President of the Federation of West Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FEWACCI) has disclosed that plans are at an advanced stage in establishing a regional maritime company, called Sealink.

This Company, he added, would connect all the ports in the 15 ECOWAS Member States transporting both cargo and passengers.

Bai Matarr Drammeh made these remarks at The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry headquarters in Bijilo at the just concluded meeting of Presidents of chambers of commerce of ECOWAS Member States on Sealink. He added that just as Asky has expanded its area of operations to cover Central Africa, Sealink would also have operations in the same region.

The forum was organised in collaboration with the Federation of West Africa Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FEWACCI). The event provided opportunity for Presidents of National Chambers of Commerce and Industry to meet and interact with the promoters of the Sealink Project and get some clarifications on the capital raising process. It is also meant to allow National Chambers of Commerce and Industries to fully assume their responsibilities in the process of promoting investment in the Sealink Project and allow National Chambers of Commerce and Industries to sensitise their members on the purpose of investing in the project.

Drammeh said cognizant of the important role the private sector has to play in effective regional economic integration, the 15 chambers of commerce of the ECOWAS zone decided to come together in the early 80s to set-up FEWACCI as a private, not for-profit organisation.

He said at its creation, FEWACCI undertook immediately to set up transnational corporations with the incorporation of ECOBANK Transnational, which he added has become the leading bank in ECOWAS with presence in over 30 countries across Africa. What we are doing at FEWACCI is directly connected to the main areas of focus of our forum, which is to connect West African businesses to the sources of supply of raw materials to distributors for their products and additional investments into their business, he added.

The FEWACCI President said Sealink is going to offer an alternative to road transport by opening up the maritime routes, but was quick to note that road transport would for a very long time, be a major factor in the movement of people and goods.

Drammeh noted that there is also the development of the ECOWAS railway master plan, which is under study and which would, when completed, further open access to markets all over the region and beyond.

Movement of people and their access to markets in a regional economic integration process is not facilitated only through physical infrastructure but also through the harmonisation of travel documents.

Thanks to the abolition of visas among member countries and the introduction of the ECOWAS passport, the region has become one of the most integrated when it comes to movement of people, he said.

© Pakistan Press International, source Asianet-Pakistan