Dear African Maritime Pilots,

This is our Organization website.

The African Maritime Pilots’ Association – AMPA – has been reinvigorated since you decided to work together to rise your flag among our continent, Africa, and to the maritime world.

Your attendance in number (60 ports from 23 countries) to the last African Congress of Maritime Pilots in Tangier – ACMP2019 – shows how awesome we could be when we gather our energies.

We are glad to announce that since our last congress, pilots of countries like Tunisia and Soudan achieved their national pilots’ associations. My congratulations to them and my encouragement to all dynamic associations around Africa.

Nowadays, maritime countries of our Continent are engaged in the development of their ports’ facilities thorough new projects, new era terminals, digitalization, ports deepening,…etc.;  to respond to the shipping companies’ request of deep-water modern ports for hosting the biggest ships of the major maritime lines.

Marine Pilotage is an important element in the chain to reach these goals; and there is no place for a weak shackle in this chain.

Development of hinterland Industries and Special Economic Zones is deeply concerned about ports’ competitiveness and robust quality of maritime services.

Pilot is in the forefront of this development and his concern now is to overcome unprecedented challenges to handle new big era ships inbound and outbound of our modern ports.

Together with ports infrastructure development, conditions should be put for “Developing the Expertise of our Pilotage Human Resources”, through Training, Personal Development and Empowerment.

Protection of the environment from oil pollutions, Ports and ships safety are also our daily concern, regardless of our mission to ensure and improve traffic fluidity. For that, we work in an efficient coordination with Harbor Master, shore-based services and on-board crews to secure the sensitive navigational passage from open sea to port terminals minimizing risks of marine oil pollutions and accidents or collisions in restricted waterways, shallow depths and dense traffic areas.

However, I’m confused when I still have to remind that Pilotage is among all other aspects an occupation that presents levels of risk that could harm pilot’s life.

Ships with negligent crew, deficient pilot ladder, and/or lack of maintenance of pilot transfer arrangement imperil pilots and may induce to fatal accident to pilots while performing their duties. According to some statistics, ratio of non-compliant pilot ladders is close to 10%, and to a recent study, the number is one of eight.

Pilots’ safety should be a common concern. RISK TO PILOT shall be vigorously diminished with the commitment of all the parties.

Authorities should act to reinforce ships compliance with relevant regulation on Pilot transfer as enacted by the International Convention on Safety Of Life At Sea SOLAS, and to eradicate #dangerouspilotladders.

I have a consequent 30 years’ experience with ships ports and seas. And I know better than others that : We pilots are so satisfied when we conduct ship from miles away shore, swing her in the harbour and safely berth under the crane where the terminal was dying to see the vessel alongside the pier, be it violent winds, heavy showers or heavy swell waves.

Together we will improve our profession conditions and stick to do what is making pilotage important in ports daily life.

Together to keep our flag waving high above ports and seas.

Thank you all, women and men doing our job in Africa.                                                                        

                                                                                Mohamed RAFOUK

                                                                                     The President

                                                                                  (Director Simulator Training & Development –

                                                                                              Chief Pilot Tanger Med Port )


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