The Namibian Ports Authority, Namport, recently hosted a media day at the Port of Walvis Bay on 28 April 2021.
Invited members of the media engaged with Mr Andrew Kanime, Chief Executive Officer, on his 150 days at the helm of Namport. The main aim of the engagement was to share the latest developments within Namport, its vision as a business and future plans.
During his address, Mr Kanime highlighted his cooperation with various clients and key stakeholders, internal and the trade union. “The purpose of these engagements was really to understand key achievements and challenges as well as what is happening on the ground so that we can collectively put into place measures that will enable us to take Namport to the next level”, Mr Kanime explained.
He added that Namport is hailed as a great company, by both internal and external stakeholders alike, “not only for our country but the region at large”. In the same breath, Mr Kanime thanked the current and previous Boards of Directors, previous Chief Executive Officers and every Namport staff member for the commendable work towards building this great company, Namport, over the years.
Mr Kanime took this opportunity to introduce Namport’s revised vision, “ to be the best performing seaports in Africa”, as well as the four key strategic themes that will be deployed, namely:
- Build Institutional Capacity
- Drive Operational Efficiencies
- Enhance Customer and Stakeholder Value and
- Optimise Sustainable Growth
“These are the themes that we will focus on over the next five years to enable us to achieve our vision of becoming “the best performing seaports in Africa”. The themes are supported by specific strategic objectives and initiatives which we shall be aggressively executing”, he stated.
Furthermore, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and global economic crunch, “businesses that can exercise extreme austerity will be able to maintain sustainability”, Mr Kanime highlighted as an important lesson to learn.
“The only way we can therefore be effectively competitive is through differentiation in the services we offer to our clients. We are happy to report that we continue to make inroads in this regard and to work towards offering affordable tariffs through streamlined operating costs can only amplify this competitiveness”.
During the Q&A session regarding shipment of manganese at the Port of Lüderitz, Mr Kanime explained that since the inception of manganese volume throughput from South Africa, Namport has handled 30 000 tons of two-vessel shipment a month, this led to a total 720 000 tons annually.
To be competitive on the freight rate, Namport management is in the process of implementing a transhipment operation. The envisaged transhipment operation will entail, a transhipment feeder vessel that will be stationed at the Port of Lüderitz and this shipment vessel will serve as a feeder vessel to the Panamax or Cape Max vessel at anchorage.
“The plan is to load 80 000 to 120 000 tons twice a month and dispatch it directly to China. The main advantage is it will reduce the freight rate drastically”. The Port of Lüderitz is therefore in the competitive sphere of trade facilitation and thus a catalyst towards SADC regional economic integration and Intra-Africa, under the African Continental Free Trade Area.
In his closing remarks, Mr Kanime expressed that “while the immediate future will be extremely tough, we remain bullish about the prospects, we have what it takes to weather the storm and emerge even stronger. We remain committed to maintaining the correct focus and alignment in our priorities as we continue to work aggressively towards harnessing new business volumes to our ports, to attract and do our utmost to retain our customers, to improve and enhance the quality of the services we render to all our customers and streamlining operating costs”.