The activities associated with traditional port development negatively impacts ecosystems and socio-economic functions.
The aim of this project is to develop a framework and tools for designing integrated and sustainable ports in Africa in which environmental, economic and public benefits are balanced.
The project incorporates an integrated approach to port design that is stakeholder-inclusive and encompasses engineering, ecological, economic and governance aspects. A bottom-up approach is employed, whereby research in all four disciplines is directed at relevant and practical cases in Africa. The generated knowledge and learning will be applied in developing tools and a generic design framework for African ports. The selected case, i.e., the expansion of the port of Tema in Ghana, is expected to demonstrate added value of sustainable designs and serve as a catalyst for other port projects in Africa. To enable this, well-defined activities related to knowledge dissemination and research uptake form an integral part of the project. Academia, applied research and knowledge institutes, practitioners and potential users collaborate as partners in this project; this is invaluable for ‘action-based’ research and ‘demand driven’ knowledge development. Additional deliverables of the project are ‘Best practice guidelines for implementing integrated and sustainable port development in Africa’ and an international 'Green ports Africa network', a community of researchers and private sector practitioners. The proposal development workshop in Ghana, July 2015, gave a promising start to the stakeholder-informed port development process.
Anitra van der Kraan