Sierra Leone’s involvement in the Maritime Organization for West and Central Africa (MOWCA) dates back to 1975, marking its commitment to regional maritime cooperation. However, despite being a signatory to this vital initiative, Sierra Leone has not fully capitalized on the opportunities it offers. The Ministry of Transport and Aviation’s negligence has led to the accumulation of a substantial debt, currently standing at a staggering $1.2 million.

Efforts to address this debt have been sporadic at best. Former Minister Kallon initiated discussions to repay the arrears, but unfortunately, the matter was left unresolved. The looming threat of punitive action by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the governing body for World Maritime, further underscores the urgency of addressing this issue.

Fortunately, Sierra Leone’s SLMA Executive Director has taken decisive action to rectify this longstanding problem. Recognizing the detrimental impact of the country’s debt on its reputation and international standing, the Executive Director made it a priority to engage with the MOWCA Secretariat in Abidjan.

During his visit, the Executive Director engaged in constructive dialogue with the Secretary-General of MOWCA to revisit the outstanding issues and explore viable solutions. By actively addressing the debt and seeking to resolve the matter diplomatically, the Executive Director aims to protect Sierra Leone’s interests and prevent any adverse consequences on the global stage.

Moreover, the Executive Director’s proactive approach has not gone unnoticed. His adept negotiation skills and diplomatic finesse have been instrumental in de-escalating tensions and fostering cooperation between Sierra Leone and MOWCA. By demonstrating a commitment to fulfilling its financial obligations and reengaging with regional maritime initiatives, Sierra Leone seeks to reaffirm its commitment to maritime cooperation and harness the potential benefits of participation in MOWCA.

In conclusion, Sierra Leone’s SLMA Executive Director’s intervention in Abidjan marks a significant step towards resolving the country’s longstanding debt issue with MOWCA. Through diplomatic engagement and proactive measures, Sierra Leone aims to safeguard its reputation and uphold its commitment to regional maritime cooperation. As the Executive Director continues to advocate for the interests of Sierra Leone in international forums, the prospects for resolving the debt issue and unlocking the benefits of maritime cooperation appear promising.

For more information, please contact:
The Public Relations Department
Sierra Leone Maritime Administration