Outlining the Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Africa's Maritime Industry: The Case of Marine and Seafaring Professionals


Anthony Djaba Sackey,Ant Marine W. A Consulting Services/Sinotech Marine West Africa, Koforidua, Ghana
Bertrand Tchouangeup,DNV GL Oil and Gas/Grassfield Maritime Consultants Lagos, Nigeria 3RROC Industrial Limited, Accra, Ghana
Bernard Lomotey,Ben Marine Services/DNV Maritime, Accra, Ghana
Benjamin Lantei Lamptey,National Center for Atmospheric Science School of Earth and Environment, University of Leads Fairbairn House, 71-75 Clarendon Road Leads, LS2 9PH, UK
Raphael Ofosu-Dua Lee,Ant Marine W. A Consulting Services/Sinotech Marine West Africa, Koforidua, Ghana
Abigail Dede Sackey,German Institute of Technology, Accra, Ghana
Joseph Elorm Segbefia, GISMA Business School, Berlin, Germany
Abraham Akwertey Teye, Ghana Navy, Naval Headquarters Burma Camp, Accra, Ghana
Richmond Kennedy Quarcoo, Plastic Punch Organization, Accra, Ghana
John Bansah, Mega Food Industries, Khartoum, Sudan
Christabel Ewedji,Ant Marine W. A Consulting Services/Sinotech Marine West Africa, Koforidua, Ghana
Ekow Eduhene Wood,Bernard Shult Shipping Management, Accra Ghana


Despite the ‘Key Worker’ status of seafarers in moments of demonstrable selflessness—ensuring an adequate supply of food, medicines, consumables such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), and energy—there is a lack of genuine interest in their concerns, leading to various calls from major stakeholders such as the United Nations (UN) and International Maritime Organization (IMO) associated with COVID-19-related policies and regulations impacting the wellbeing of marine professionals and crews. Thus, to what extent are non-traditional seafaring nations of Africa impacted The study examines concerns identifying and investigating: implemented COVID-19 policies and regulations, their impact on maritime operations and crew 'wellbeing'; contingency measures and innovations aiding mitigate responses for minimal challenges to seafarers and marine professionals. The case study approach focuses on West Africa's maritime corridor, examining operations in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, and Angola to a host of varied ports and offshore installation operations. Direct field observations, survey questionnaires, and interviews of expert or 'eyewitness' accounts deployed via phone calls, online social media, and emails were carried out. The study finds that the international labor convention (MLC 2006) was not complied with. Embarkation quarantine and testing measures for offshore Ghana and Angola could not prevent outbreaks of cases on-board FPSO units, although the process identified cases. The stigma of cases amongst the crew was prevalent in the first six months of the pandemic declaration. Of the surveys conducted among 71 vessel crews, 32.14% were certain of positive cases on their various job sites. Only 19% willingly addressed issues of their proximity to the virus. Thirty percent complained of uncertainty spared by rumors as fuelling poor mental health. 91.06% showed support for IMO-led interventions. Mitigating measures included increased internet and telephone access, plus extensive boarding protocols. The vaccine inoculations remained low within the region for mariners. Findings suggest the need for more research.



Covid-19 impact on crew management, Health crises on marine operation, Policies and regulations in maritime, Maritime operations and pandemic, Offshore operations in Africa


  • Volume 9, No. 1, 2022
  • ISSN(p):2205-8435
  • ISSN(e):2207-5321
  • Published:Oct. 2022