Seafarer International, LLC

Security II | Don't Miss the Boat:
Keeping our Ports Safe

In this session, moderator Sandra Burnis-Holly stated that 90 percent of global trade occurs by ship, and this has doubled over the past decade in Africa. Hence port security and facilitation is more important than ever on the continent.

The panelists focused on the need for a uniform policy regarding port operations, while still recognizing the varied environments of ports on the continent from Dar es Salaam to Monrovia. Peter Symasko advocated for a maritime and port training school in Africa that would train security officers and establish a systematic approach across the continent and in doing so would establish communication between regional ports.

Matilda Parker emphasized the importance of training as well as recognizing unique security threats through additional localized training. Dr. Stein raised the issue of developing technology to contain underwater threats which include submarines transporting drugs. All the panelists agreed that if port security occurs in isolated efforts, there will be worldwide ramifications.

Also the issue of risk management within cargo inspection dominated the discussion. Matilda Parker stressed the importance of coordination between different agencies within the government, including immigration and law enforcement bodies, not limited to port authorities. As Africa becomes an emerging player in international trade, the maintenance and security of its ports will be a topic of major interest for stakeholders.

Sandra Burnis-Holly, Director – International Business Development, Engility Corp.

Matilda Parker, Managing Director, National Port Authority of Liberia
Dr. Peter Stein, President, Scientific Solutions, Inc.
Peter Symasko, Partner, SEAFARER International, LLC
Ralph Winnie, Jr., Director of Global Business Development, The Eurasia Center