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Port Development in Africa Possible with Technology – SAP Exec

TechInAfrica – Gilbert Saggia, SAP’s executive claims technology will bring about the rapid growth of Africa seaports. The managing director of the company’s East Africa’s branch states that tech will cause seaports on the Africa continent to maximize their full potentials. The company, SAP is a world-recognized application software firm.

Saggia claims that automation will make ports in Africa advanced in their operations. With a centralized approach, both terminal and other port operations will be effectively managed using a single platform.

Saggia suggested in his article that tech usage will give ports the opportunity to prepare better for unforeseen circumstances, prevent potential business disruptions, recommend remedial action and facilitate communication between the various stakeholders in the port’s value chain. According to him, this will eliminate duplication of messaging or effort.

According to SAP, sea trade can drive over 90% of export and import activities in Africa. The ports will also favor Africa countries like Chad and Ethiopia where there is an abundance of raw materials and others to export.

There is also a high demand for processed and finished goods by these regions from the East and West.

Saggia said; “countries that have a lot to offer with regards to world trade but are landlocked will remain handicapped without these gateways.

If the Africa continent is to have any major impact in world trade or benefit from global economic growth, its seaports are to count on.

Africa ports are experiencing huge challenges from inefficient operations and poor infrastructural development leading to losses in revenue.

According to Saggia, Africa seaports must overcome the main challenges they are facing for sea trade to be more successful.

Most of the challenges include lengthy clearances for cargo, under-developed hinterland and basic port infrastructure, cargo and container theft, low automation and use of outdated equipment.

According to the global performance benchmarking by SAP, seaports that are driving productivity improvements through technology operation have operating margin that is 36% higher than their peers.

In the Asian continent where ports are well automated, the turnaround time – the duration of time it takes vessels to port, offload cargoes, reload and depart – may not reach up to seven hours. But the same operation takes an average of five days for ports in Africa.

However, investing in infrastructure is one side of the coin if ports in Africa are to handle more cargoes efficiently.  Africa ports need to make good use of existing resources especially those aimed at moving cargo.

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