Gabon Expresses Support for MOWCA Workshop on Prevention of Waterways Accidents

...Commends Adalikwu for Setting Organisation on Path of Development

The Republic of Gabon has expressed full support for the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) Regional Workshop on Prevention of Inland Waterways Accidents slated for July 15 to 17 2024 in Libreville, Gabon.

The Gabonese Minister of Transport, Merchant Navy and the Sea, Moudouma Ndinga Dieudonne Loic, disclosed this when he received the MOWCA Secretary General, Dr Paul Adalikwu on a courtesy visit recently.

Loic who applauded Adalikwu for resetting MOWCA towards rapid development with impactful programmes, acknowledged that the organisation was not doing well before Adalikwu took over.


Loic assured the SG of Gabon’s support to MOWCA and its plan to repositioning the organisation to achieve its objectives.

He reiterated that he is aware of MOWCA in the past and it’s activities now, adding that he is working on the Maritime Strategy of the Gulf of Guinea and the Yaounde ICC.


On his part, Dr. Adalikwu said MOWCA is partnering with other organisations like the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) to engender safe practices to curb the spate of marine accidents that has led to several loss of lives and properties in the inland waterways of her member countries.

The MOWCA SG identified non usage of life jackets by some travelers, wearing of dysfunctional life jackets, deployment of rickety boats or ferries, night travels without lights, overloading of watercrafts, unethical behaviours by drunken pilots and other factors as identified causes of mishaps along inland waterways in the West and Central African Area.

Adalikwu added that MOWCA will through the workshop encourage member states and participants to adhere to the prescribed standards in the revised Standards of Training Certification and Watch keeping (STCW) and the principles of Safety of Lives at Sea (SOLAS) which are also applicable in the brown waters or inland waterways.

He said the rising casualty figures from marine accidents observed by MOWCA in the sub region has made the issue a matter of concern necessitating that all parties including governments, intergovernmental organisations, non governmental institutions, private companies and individual travelers must be involved to achieve compliance.

According to Adalikwu, it is not enough for governments to procure life jackets or encourage investments in modern ferry transportation. He identified wrecks that are hidden by high tide as one area state and non state actors could collaborate for safer navigation.


He said, MOWCA has identified wreck removal as a safety measure for ease of navigation and an additional advantage for metal recycling through ship breaking capable of creating employment and generating sustainable economic activities within coastal areas.

On the transformation of MOWCA to African Maritime Organization (AMO), Adalikwu informed the Minister that MOWCA is at the verge of becoming a fully continental body which will allow for a stronger voice at the International arena like the IMO as a united African bloc.

The transformation, according to him, is in partnership with IMO, African Union (AU) and the International Standing Committee on Shipping (ISCOS) based in Mombasa, Kenya.
He also added that letters of consent and support for the transformation of MOWCA to AMO was received from ECOWAS , ECCAS and AU in February 2024;

MOWCA was created in 1975 by Ministers of 25 Countries from West and Central Africa with its Headquarters in Abidjan.

Since he was elected in November 2021 in Accra Ghana as the 6th Secretary General MOWCA, Dr Adalikwu has rebuilt member states and international community confidence on the organisation and has been repositioning it for the better.

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