The history of the Pan-African Association for Port Co-operation (PAPC) goes back to 1998, when the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH), the Port Management Association for West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) and the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA) decided to organise jointly a Pan-African ports seminar, which was held in Mombasa (Kenya) in January 1998.
During the seminar, the African port executives present held a consultative meeting which concluded on the need to further exchange experience at continental level, through the establishment of an African ports association.
The consultative meeting entrusted the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa(ECA) with the facilitation of the process leading to the creation of the association.
In July 1999, the first meeting of the ad-hoc committee for the creation of the African ports association was convened by ECA, with the participation of all three sub-regional port associations (PMAWCA, UAPNA and PMAESA), in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). The committee reviewed the draft Constitution for the Association, and agreed on its name, the Pan-African Association for Port Co-operation (PAPC).
The draft Constitution, soon supplemented by the Rules of Procedure of the Association, was reviewed and adopted by each of the three sub-regional associations, on the occasion of their respective Council Meetings.
The 2nd meeting of the ad-hoc committee was held in Conakry (Guinea), in April 1999, in conjunction with the PMAWCA Council Meeting. The Conakry Declaration, adopted by the committee, approved the Constitution, and paved the way for the final meeting of the ad-hoc committee, which would launch the PAPC.
The 3rd and final meeting of the ad-hoc committee was held in Alexandria (Egypt), in conjunction with the Council Meeting of UAPNA, in November 1999. The Alexandria Resolution celebrated the launching of the activities of the PAPC, and confirmed the leading role played by PMAWCA in the establishment of the PAPC by appointing the then Chairman of PMAWCA, Mr. Aliou DIALLO, Managing Director of the port of Conakry (Republic of Guinea) as spokesperson of PAPC, pending election of the organs of the Association.
The 1st Council Meeting
The First Council Meeting of the PAPC was held in Lome (Togo), during a PMAWCA Council Meeting, in June 2001. The Council elected PMAWCA as the Host for the PAPC, and confirmed the arrangements for the First Pan-African Ports Conference, scheduled in Ivory Coast for December 2001.
As a consequence of the election of PMAWCA as host for PAPC, the new President of PMAWCA, Mr. Jean-Marie ANIELE, Managing Director of the port of Pointe-Noire (Congo) became the first President of the Association, while Mr. Fernand Julien GAUZE, Secretary General of PMAWCA, became its first Executive Secretary.
The image of the PAPC was firmly established with the selection of a logo, showing a lighthouse on top of the map of Africa, with three beams standing for the three sub-regional Associations, the launching of an Internet site at www.afriports.org, and the publication of the first issue of the PAPC Newsletter, sponsored by the port of Pointe-Noire.
8th PAPC Conference in Arusha, December 2010
The success of the 1st Pan-African Ports Conference in Abidjan confirmed the creation of the Association responded to a need for increased communication between the sub-regional Association and the ports of the Continent.
On this occasion, it was decided to institutionalise the Pan-African Ports conferences, and to organise them on an annual basis. From that time, the Council Meetings and the Pan-African Ports Conferences have been alternating.
The 2nd Council Meeting of the PAPC was held in Casablanca (Morocco), in July 2002, and the same year, The 2nd Pan-African Ports Conference was held in Ngorongoro (Tanzania), in December 2002. The 2nd Council Meeting adopted the Arabic language as third official language of the PAPC, and the logo was modified accordingly to reflect this.
The 3rd Council Meeting of the PAPC was held in Durban (South Africa), in May 2003. The Council elected PMAESA as the new host for PAPC, and reviewed the programme of the 3rd Pan African Ports Conference, scheduled for December 2003 in Douala (Cameroon). The Chairman of PAPC elected was Mr. Siyabonga GAMA, chairman of PMAESA, and the Executive Secretary appointed was Mr. Olivier Hartmann, the former Secretary General of PMAESA.
The 3rd Council adopted motions of thanks addressed to the first executives of the Association, for their tremendous efforts and achievements in building and creating the Association.