Aalborg Opening
Welcome group Aarhus
Aarhus Port group pic

PENAf’s 5th African Ports International Environmental Sustainability Study Visit took participants to the Ports of Aalborg and Aarhus in Denmark. It was organised in collaboration with the Port of Aalborg, Port of Aarhus and Ports Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) with support from Aarhus University/PEPP II project and the Danish Maritime Research Alliance (MRA).

Theme: ‘Innovating Actionable Green Solutions Towards Climate Neutral Ports’
23rd – 27th October 2023


Most African ports have in the last decade seen institutional restructuring and reform in a bid to not only modernise infrastructure but to also enhance productivity, efficiency and quality of service delivery. This has successfully attracted private sector involvement in the ports and significantly improved port operational performance. The reform progress however does not reflect conscious environmental and sustainability improvements in the ports. It has mostly focused on renovating and modifying port infrastructure to strengthen the individual economic positions of the ports. Integrating the restructuring with environmental roles and actions to achieve economic, social and environmental sustainability remain limited, unsystematic and fragmented.

Harry Barnes

Dr. HARRY BARNES-DABBAN, Executive Coordinator

However, in the face of continual decline of the overall global environmental quality and increasing pressures on world resources, African ports as part of the global maritime community are faced with a reality they cannot ignore. They are obliged to take responsibility in applying and committing themselves to a green transition with innovations necessary to meet sustainable development obligations required of them.

African ports share common environmental and sustainability challenges, but the ports inherently operate as fragmented individual entities with little recourse to the linkages of these challenges among them.
Improving sustainability is a challenge to ports globally but it is also a driver for change. It can only be tackled through partnerships and collaboration, if its full benefits must be realised. The ports sector connects many actors in a chain. No port in the chain can be really effective if viewed in isolation. Actions impacting one port can have an impact throughout the entire chain.
African ports must therefore of necessity initiate proactive and innovative actions and mechanisms that integrate environmental sustainability considerations into the overall port planning, policy making, operations and management to promote their sustainable development. The drivers inducing the institutional restructuring and reform of African ports are equally imperative for nurturing and supporting the environmental sustainability of the ports. The ports must therefore collaboratively pay attention to understanding the dynamics of their institutional reform, appearance and participation of the private sector in port operations, global environmental and sustainability practices and obligations, and the common character of their environmental and sustainability challenges to co-develop solutions and actions for their sustainable development.


5th African Ports International Environment & Social Sustainability Study
Visit to Denmark Ports, 23 – 27 OCTOBER 2023

‘Innovating Actionable Green Solutions Towards Climate Neutral Ports’

PENAf’s 5th African Ports International Environmental & Social Sustainability Study Visit to the Ports of Aalborg and Aarhus in Denmark drew attention to some incisive interrogations. Well delivered content by facilitators and presenters made up of industry experts and researchers from the ports and maritime sector and objective exchange of ideas gave incisive understanding of the dynamics of the sustainability trajectory of Danish ports anchored in a port community-researchers cohesion aimed and mobilised at becoming carbon neutral by 2030 through a renewable energy transition. Read more

For further clarification, contact: hbarnesdabban@penaf.org; hbarnesdabban@gmail.com

Ports Environmental Network–Africa #PENAf in collaboration with Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority #GPHA has organised a two-week training on Effective MARPOL Implementation and Efficient Operation of Port Reception Facilities for a delegation from the Port Authority of Bata #BataPort in Equatorial Guinea. The delegation was taken through the legal requirements, rights and obligations of MARPOL and its six technical annexes; environmental assessment for installation and operation of port reception facilities; as well as the Ghana process and experience in that regard. They also observed a hands-on practice of ship waste inspection, discharge and treatment in Ghana’s Tema and Takoradi ports.


DOTCAN announces with great enthusiasm the recent appointment of Dr. Harry Barnes-Dabban, Executive Co-Ordinator at PENAf – Ports Environmental Network-Africa, as a new Member of the Board of Directors. We are excited to push Pan Atlantic Ports Environmental Sustainability goals together with @cophyharry . Visit DOTCAN’s webpage for more info: https://dotcan.institute/.

International Consultant Hails GPHA’S Proactiveness in Implementing IMO convention

The Executive Coordinator of the Port Environmental Network – Africa (PENAf), Dr. Harry Barnes-Dabban has commended the efforts made by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to remain proactive in its approach towards sustainable port and shipping operations.

Egypt Forum

African Development Senior Managers Forum

Trends and current situation of multimodal transport development in Africa has been discussed at the African Senior Managers Forum organised by the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport in Egypt and held between 19th – 23rd June, 2022. The Forum had the theme ‘Sustainable Multimodal Transport in Africa in the era of digitalisation and 4 th Industrial revolution’. Speaking on the topic ‘Multimodal Transport Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities’, I identified a two-fold concern and identified a new governance mechanism as a needed part solution to addressing the current situation. Download posting (pdf)

Stakeholders discuss the role of African ports in the development of the blue economy

The African Natural Resources Center in collaboration with the Infrastructure and Urban Development Department of the African Development Bank Group brought together a range of stakeholders on 30 March to explore ways to integrate African ports more effectively into the blue economy.

Participants at the meeting—including representatives of the African Development Bank, the African Union Development Agency, governments, and regional bodies—agreed on the pressing need to develop national strategies to harness the blue economy. There was also consensus that ports, as a locus of many blue economy activities, should be an integral part of such a strategy. MORE….