Mozambique’s Port of Maputo is among the industry’s leading innovators in Africa. By choosing to significantly invest in infrastructure, the port is meeting the needs of a vital transportation corridor that extends into the heart of South Africa. To promote regional trade and economic integration, USTDA helped the Port of Maputo strengthen its safety procedures and enhance operational efficiency by connecting it with innovative U.S. technologies that are transforming how employees are trained.
USTDA achieved this outcome through a 2015 reverse trade mission to the United States for African port sector leaders that introduced them to U.S. industry and American best practices, with the overall goal of modernizing regional ports, enhancing regional trade and further driving economic growth. USTDA’s delegates engaged with port operators, U.S government representatives and private sector technology providers in Washington, D.C., Miami and Houston.
The visit achieved quick results. Multiple U.S. companies won contracts, including Florida-based e-Tech Simulation, which exported five port equipment simulators that are providing specialized high-tech training for the Port of Maputo’s machine operators. These simulators are also helping to develop a more prepared workforce that will strengthen the port’s safety environment and bring new efficiencies to the loading and unloading of cargo.
Jairo Leiva, e-Tech Simulation’s President, emphasizes that “understanding how technology benefits an organization is difficult without the opportunity to expose the user to it. So, when USTDA invited us to participate in the Miami reverse trade mission for African port sector leaders, we jumped into the opportunity and requested if we could bring along a trailer with a state-of-the-art port equipment simulator on it. The organizers kindly accommodated us, and the reverse trade mission members were able to use the simulator and experience a technology that could help the ports and their countries to achieve their productivity and safety goals. This was a big step in securing a contract, for which we are very proud of participating in, and developing a long-term relationship with the Port of Maputo’s visionary and caring management team. None of this could have been successful without the USTDA’s support.”
USTDA’s Chief Operating Officer and Head of Agency Todd Abrajano summarized the success: “Mozambique is using American technology and American innovation to train its workers and make its key port safer and more efficient. This is exactly how USTDA’s varied toolkit and creative team builds the kinds of partnerships that have a transformative economic impact for our African partners.”
Photo courtesy of e-Tech Simulation.