Maritime experts on Tuesday sought regulatory framework to innovative technologies that would enhance maritime security and green shipping in Africa.
They said that the regulation would ensure Africa tomeet modern shipping trends and maintain eco-friendly operations.
The experts made this known at the ongoing 2022 Lagos International Maritime Week (LIMW), with the theme, ‘New Technologies for Greener Shipping in Africa’, organised by Zoe Maritime Resources Ltd.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that green shipping is when people or goods are transported through ships, using minimum resources and energy as possible, to protect the environment from the pollutants generated by the ships.
Speaking in a lecture, Mr Kunle Folarin, Chairman, Nigerian Ports Consultative Council (NPCC), said the introduction of technologies would enhance the shape of a greener marine environment.
Folarin said that safety, security, global health and well being of those working on the seas and ports.
He added that Africa flags vessels not less than 15 to 25 years which are continuously susceptible to high age, related effects and operate in second quailing fuel use.
“Investment to replace and rebuild them with new technologically driven tonnages is not feasible. To achieve a new order of things requires enforcement of regulation and inspectorate by local maritime administration.
“The failure of safe, secure, cleaner and greener marine, environment will be against a greener shipping in Africa,” he said.
Folarin noted that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in curbing carbon footprint of international shipping, planned for 50 per cent reduction in annual Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships by 2050; with implications for ships’ fuel use and operational efficiency.
“The shipping industry is dynamic, and the growing demand for the urgency to take measures for reducing the carbon footprint is substantial.
“The increasing standards made by the IMO have triggered research and development of “green” technology for the shipping industry.
“The shipping industry has to create and apply innovative measures in order to comply with the new regulations,” he said.
He said that mandatory marine and shipping world was changing and that the application of digitisation and technologies was the way to go.
“Africa must join the league of those innovations in order to be relevant in global trade and marine,” he said.
Also, Mrs Emmanuelle Bllatmann, Ambassador of France to Nigeria said that the conference had put ecology on the agenda to see how to move towards greener footprint of the shipping industry.
According to her, it is the repeated major natural disasters, more than the energy crisis, must trigger the change for the shipping industry, as a big energy consumer.
“In France, the French private sector has moved forward: three years ago, 10 French shipowners and the Italian shipowner Grimaldi signed a charter called the SAILS Charter, for sustainable actions for innovative and low-impact shipping.
“It aims at drastically reducing polluting emissions and at protecting the marine environment. Also, in February 2022, President Macron hosted the One Ocean Summit in Brest to promote the Blue Economy.
“And the presence of Nigeria at this major international event was particularly appreciated as an African leader for the development of the Blue Economy in West Africa,” she said.
She added that the introduction of new patterns, both innovative and economically viable, could only be achieved if maritime routes where seafarers and goods ply are secured.
“To this end, the GHG can count on the Coordinated Maritime Presence scheme, (CMP) that ensures the presence of navies in the area on behalf of the EU and also the French Navy, which are important stakeholder of the CMP initiative,” she said.
Earlier, Mrs Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore, Chairman Zoe Maritime Resources Ltd., noted that every new technology thrived on existing infrastructure, adding that maritime infrastructure was no exception.
According to her, the new technologies that will sustain environmentally friendly shipping in Africa will dwell on maritime infrastructure, but unfortunately maritime infrastructure has worsened in Nigeria.
The LIMWEEK is a programme set apart to be a solution provider to the maritime challenges facing Africa and Nigeria in particular,