TOC is to stage a focused market briefing on the Canaries island of Tenerife on the speed of development in the West African region.
The TOC West Africa event, hosted by Puertos de Tenerife, is scheduled for the 10th -11th December and hopes to explore maritime trade, logistics developments and infrastructure investment across the fast-growing West African region.
Since 2007, Africa’s real GDP growth has averaged five percent per year, becoming the world’s second-fastest-growing region, after Asia.
Container traffic has risen exponentially in the area and as a result, more of the world’s major container carriers have begun to develop their presence on the West African coast.
North and West Africa in particular, are becoming more and more integrated into global container networks. Nearly four million TEU are transported in and out of West Africa’s ports alone.
Whilst this number may seem small to the 500 million TEU traded globally, the fact that this volume has been reached in just ten years from negligible numbers illustrates the potential for growth in the West African region.
With changes in port governance, the arrival of international terminal operating groups and concessions from private investors, this potential is now being realised more and more each day.
Regional port utilisation is forecast to hit 80 percent over the rest of this decade, as rapid consumer growth fuels rising imports.
Nevertheless, significant challenges remain.
TOC West Africa hopes to bring light to the issues related to infrastructure planning and funding, logistics skill development, hinterland connectivity and security, and make sure they get the support needed to further enhance West African markets.
Tenerife seems to be the ideal spot to hold such an event. The largest of the seven canary islands, Tenerife’s maritime and air facilities handle a varied traffic base, including 300,000 TEU, and over 6.5 million passengers on a number of cruise ships, annually.
The island also acts as an insight of the investment needed to support the growth of African markets.
Handling capacity was boosted even further last year with the opening of Terminal de Contendores de Tenerife (TCT) by OHL Concesiones and Maritima Davila.
TCT joins the pre-existing CAPSA terminals, operated by Grup TCB, where further investments are already being made.
Future plans include the development of a regional trade hub in the southern Port of Granadilla, focused on container transhipment, gas, liquid and solid bulks, with a support logistics zone.
“As a European port in West Africa, Tenerife is well-placed to serve as a regional logistics platform,” said Airam Diaz Pastor, commercial director at Puertos de Tenerife.
“We are very happy also that TOC chose Tenerife as the platform for this new venture and are glad to host what will be a unique and special event.”
Event director Paul Holloway said “Bringing together all the key container supply chain players, TOC Market Briefing West Africa will be a focused forum to assess the region’s changing maritime trade network, the expectations of shippers and carriers in terms of logistics infrastructure, port service levels and trade security, and how the regional port and hinterland transport map will look over the next few years.”
“The Canary Islands have served for centuries as a strategic Atlantic bridge between Africa, Europe and the Americas and they retain that important role today. This makes Tenerife a great location to meet, network and debate the future for West Africa.”