Zambia’s maritime training institute to boost economy

Written by on July 19, 2019



THE setting up a maritime training institute is a necessity to accelerate trade and economic development of northern Zambia and surrounding countries of Lake Tanganyika, says STC International, global maritime and logistics consultancy, research and training firm.

According to STC project director Rene Meeuws, the institute, ideally should be located in Mpulungu and make Zambia compliant with requirements prescribed by the International Maritime Convention (IMO) of which Lusaka was already a member since 2014.

This includes being up-to-date with skills of operating within a modernized maritime sector while meeting international standards of security, safety, control and ports management. 

“Establishing a maritime training institute in Zambia is necessary for the sector to have a positive effect on the Zambian economy, especially the northern part, by effectively promoting economic opportunities on Lake Tanganyika,

“It will also put Zambia on par in as far as adoption of international standards and protocols in maritime security, safety and health is concerned,” said Mr Meeuws

Mr Meeuws said this at a recent stakeholder meeting in Lusaka aimed at reviewing findings of a feasibility study into establishing a maritime training institute in Zambia.

The feasibility study was funded by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

Mr Meeuws said it was significant to note that the study was conducted against the backdrop of US$55 million upgrade of Mpulungu Harbour, financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) coupled by government plans to establish a national shipping line.

Other drivers cementing the business case for a maritime training institute were the recent acquisition by government of huge capital equipment such as dredgers.

“The parallel developments to our study will in the long-term provide job opportunities but also require the presence of specific competences and skills to operate and manage them,” he said.

STC prescribed an integrated national, regional and sub-regional model to provide training for all maritime and inland waterway transport in Zambia, crew and staff of vessels from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi and Tanzania, countries around Lake Tanganyika while catering for vocational training in the       sub-region in the field of port operations, warehousing, freight forwarding and handling equipment.

STC envisaged most of the training to be conducted would relate to the implementation of the requirements prescribed by IMO, a United Nations convention enacted in 1948 but came into force in 1958.

The top level of the Department of Maritime and Inland Waters (DMWI) staff, responsible for immediate oversight of the sector, were among the primary target groups for training.

The mid to low level staff who dealt in areas such as vessel inspection, registration, traffic management and safety also required upskilling.

Knowledge and skills were also needed relevant for staff involved in naval architecture, port and harbour operations, maritime business management and administration.

, And trade, investment and development facilitator Nkrumah Chama-Kalaluka Mr who acted as rapporteur, said the proposed training centre was vital as it would enhance all modes of transport in line with the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP).

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