Specifically, Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, during the second edition of the African Ports Forum, commented on the numerous challenges the maritime transport industry has faced due to the COVID-19 crisis, yet has continued to ensure the delivery of essential goods as well as trade while maintaining profitability.
She highlighted that immediate action has to be taken from African ports and maritime facilities, emphasizing on key actions from the UNCTAD TrainForTrade Network 2020 to cope with the current pandemic:
- Boost Internet capabilities and accessibility inside and outside port areas for port workers and users alike;
- Increase connectivity and data interoperability in Global Supply Chains by implementing Port Community Systems and taking advantage of Digital Ledger Technology, the likes of Blockchain as promoted by the World Economic Forum;
- Develop shorter and more diversified supply chains supported by advanced automation and labor-protective relocations in line with climate change objectives;
- Reinforce regional port cooperation to build more resilient trade nodes to brace for future COVID-19 pandemic-like shocks;
- Design new policies for resilient and inclusive ports to reach out to the most vulnerable people who are often dependent on the port communities’ economic and social fabric; and
- Engage in innovative training approaches and well-being at all staff levels, leveraging on the technology.