Friday, July 20, 2012

Angola's Maritime Future; Developing Seamen

Angola has a long, thousand-mile coastline generally unaffected by the more dramatic weather conditions which make shipping difficult in many parts of the world.  Current Angolan maritime activities are concentrated in its busy and well-developed offshore oil industry. There is intense coastal traffic supplying oil exploration and production companies with equipment, transferring crews, and ferrying staff overseeing well-drilling operations or carrying out maintenance.  There are also regular oil-tanker loading operations which then take the precious cargo to markets all over the world.

Most of the vessels plying Angolan ports often operate exclusively in coastal waters for oil industry-related activities but use crews drawn from around the globe, with relatively few Angolans on board. The government plans to change this situation and bring greater Angolan access to these maritime jobs, creating a local seafaring industry. ‘Angolanisation’ is already making steady headway, with more indigenous crews being trained for the task.

Angola's merchant navy has seen concentrated, institutional development over the past ten years, thanks mainly to the efforts of Sonangol EP and Sonangol Shipping,  departments of the state-owned oil company.  Sonangol Shipping has partnered with Stena Bulk, part of the Swedish conglomerate Stena, and Chevron Shipping to provide shore-based training and professional employment opportunities for Angolan seamen.

Sonangol Shipping also operates its own cadet-training program, which has graduated over 40 deep-sea Deck and Engineering Officers since 1998. As originally structured, this programme provided the Sonangol cadets with the required English language and maritime academic training in India and in Scotland at the Glasgow College of Nautical Studies, now the City of Glasgow College (COGC). The Angolan cadet officers also receive on-board training on the Sonangol Suezmax tankers, all of which are built with extra cabins to accommodate them.

For the past several years, Sonangol and Stena have been collaborating on the development of the Angolan Maritime Training Centre (AMTC) in Sumbe, Angola, 350km south of Luanda. AMTC will be owned by Sonangol EP and operated in collaboration with COGC, which has been appointed academic manager. António Pelé Cardoso da Silva Neto will be the chief executive of AMTC.

It will provide complete training for maritime ratings, and the first year of academic training for deep-sea Deck and Engineer Officer cadets. It is anticipated that AMTC will eventually be able to provide the entire academic cycle of training in both deep-sea and restricted certification qualifications for cadets and ratings. It will have staff and student accommodation and aims to become an internationally-recognised centre of excellence, on a par with similar maritime centres around the globe.

Oil and gas-related shipping is not the only show in town. Another area with great development potential is Angola’s fishing fleet.  The country’s coast teems with underexploited fisheries and other seafood resources.

Angola’s ferrous mineral wealth in the shape of iron ore and manganese is about to be resurrected, thanks to the newly-rebuilt railroad linking Namibe with reserves at Kassinga in Huíla province. This will provide another opportunity for Angolan-crewed bulk cargo ships.
The Benguela Railway may similarly provide transport for renewed Zambian copper exports in the coming months, and Angola’s fast-developing farming industry may also supply growing export cargoes in the next few years.
Coastal shipping is another potential provider of local jobs at sea as Angola’s ports expand, new ones are built and their operations gain in efficiency. (Sonangol Universo Magazine)


Maritime Vacancies said...

Countries like Angola, Kenya have huge pottential in working as marine engineers, Captain etc

I thinnk people od Angola are very friendly & humble


hemcoined said...

There are also regular oil-tanker loading operations which then take the precious cargo to markets all over the world.
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