Sebastien Clamorgan (Venia International): perspectives on the African maritime transport sector

Sebastien Clamorgan

Maritime transport is one the most important modes of shipping used nowadays and is particularly important for landlocked countries, which rely heavily on shipping as their connectivity is strongly influenced by geography.
Although its significance to the global maritime transport sector is not huge, Africa rely heavily on shipping and ports as about one-third of its countries are landlocked. According to data from the UNCTAD, in 2019 African ports were responsible for 7% and 4.6% of international maritime trade exports and imports, respectively, measured by tonnage. Two of the top five African ports are in West Africa, namely the port of Lomé and the port of Tema (UNCTAD’s Liner Shipping Connectivity Index, data from 2006 to 2020). Not surprisingly, these ports are at the continent’s corners, where the best-connected regions are and where international routes connect to hub ports. Africa is one of the regions where Venia International’s services aim at opening the doors for global corporations’ successful entry. The firm specializes in global consulting and investment, and is headed by Sebastien Clamorgan, a businessman and entrepreneur with more than 25 years of working experience. Founded at the end of the 90s, the global firm supports the establishment of global brands desirous of capitalizing on the opportunities available to them throughout the MENA market. The firm’s projects concern multiple sectors of the industry, such as shipping, port management, logistics and food & beverage.
As reported in an article from the WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Africa still has an enormous potential to grow its footprint in the global maritime transport sector, and it can play an even more important role by implementing some key actions on a continental level. These include the following: developing African ports and related services; implementing an inclusive blue economy strategy; developing shipping as a viable mean of local and regional transportation; and improving Africa’s maritime governance. A multi-stakeholder approach, for instance, would provide appropriate governance frameworks for the African maritime transport sector, and would promote collaborative governance between states, the private sector, and civil-society organizations.
The Badagry MegaPort and Free Trade Zone project is an example where the firm headed by Sebastien Clamorgan has played the role of deal maker, broker and representative of a stakeholder’ interests. The project aims to develop one of the largest ports in Africa, and to create a platform that promotes regional and national development. Overseen by the Nigerian Port Authorities and developed through a partnership between private entities, once completed the Badagry MegaPort and Free Trade Zone can support a strong and widespread growth across the entire region.

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