The landlocked countries in West & Central Africa are characterized by large trade imbalances, with export-import ratios below 30 percent, and an overwhelming reliance on road transport. While further improvements in infrastructure are still much needed, policy reforms that reduce costs and increase competition in transport and logistics services are now critical. However, the political economy of the necessary reforms is complex and not well understood.
This paper discusses the containerized seaborne trade between West Africa and Europe. It gives an overview of current status of the maritime industry in the region, discusses ways in which less costly transportation chains can be achieved and, in particular, examines claims made on the benefit of a development of a hub-and-spoke system for the region. The maritime transportation industry serving West Africa has been late in adapting to the increasingly more efficient operations experienced in most other developing regions.
This report is intended for key stakeholders in the maritime transport sector in West and Central Africa (West Africa) and provides an overview of the issues and problems highlighted during the Round Table on Shipping Services in West and Central African States sponsored jointly by the World Bank and the Ministerial Conference of West and Central African States on Maritime transport (MINCONMAR) was held in Cotonou, Benin on June 23-26, 1992.