Port Effectiveness and Public Private Cooperation for Competitiveness (PEPP II)


Start date: 16 January, 2022 End date: 15 January, 2025 Project type: Research projects in countries with targeted development cooperation (earlier Window 2) Project code: 21-M04-AU Countries: Ghana Thematic areas: Economic development and value chains, Transport and infrastructure, Waste management, Lead institution: Aarhus University (AU), Denmark Partner institutions: University of Ghana (UG), Ghana Project website: go to website (the site might be inactive) Project coordinator: Annette Skovsted Hansen Total grant: 4,998,813 DKK

Project summary

Our PEPP II team aims to enhance the competitiveness of Tema Port by providing new knowledge about how port clusters, gender imbalances, communication, and sustainability intertwine. Thereby, we create the potential for a more diverse and effective Port of Tema as it competes with other West African Ports. Our PEPP I findings on major challenges to and opportunities for the Port of Tema has led us to bring in additional Ghanaian researchers for our team. Concretely, our multidisciplinary and – national team of researchers work to foster a strong transdisciplinary research experience for all team members. In this way, we will engage in innovative international scholarship presented through conferences, peer-reviewed journals, and future externally funded research projects.

With a focus on local knowledge co-creation, PEPP II will collect data from extensive fieldwork, a comprehensive survey, and multiple in-depth qualitative interviews. We hope that our findings will contribute new knowledge in combination with local knowledge about the advantages of and challenges to a cooperative approach. More effective informal and formal communication strategies among private and public partners are likely to reduce un-productive tensions based on perceived and real differences, including strikes from the labor front.

Due to our in-depth understanding of the complexities and dynamics at the port from PEPP I, we expect stakeholders to be inclined to integrate our findings in their future decisions and practices, so we expect to see increased precision in design of future partnerships. Moreover, Danish companies will be better equipped to engage successfully with the Port of Tema, if they consider our findings about the intricacies of the opportunities and challenges in communication and relationships at the port. Furthermore, our focus on the implications of international standards and shipping line compliance is highly relevant to the successful uptake of international sustainability and diversity agendas in local practices.


First year report
Our project, Port Effectiveness and Public Private Cooperation for Competitiveness (PEPP II), asks the research question why not everyone considers the new terminal at Tema Port in Ghana an unmitigated success given that it was finished on time and scores even higher than expected on all performance indicators.
In PEPP II, we combine the strengths from diverse academic disciplines and different public and private sector professions in order to make Ghana Ports more competitive by focusing our research investigations on real time obstructions such as communication and social, environmental, and economic sustainability. To build a strong team, the 5 Ghanaian and 2 Danish (3 women and 4 men) researchers visited both Tema and Takoradi Ports and worked on our collaboration on academic articles at a writing retreat in Sekondi.
In August 2022 in Ghana, all project researchers, Ghanaian and Danish Embassy stakeholders, and our international advisory board (IAB) met and discussed the complexity of ownership at the Port of Tema. Professor Anita Bosch, Stellenbosch University,South Africa, presented data and methodology to initiate a discussion on gender and diversity at the Port of Tema, which inspired a heated debate among researchers and IAB members. Impact: Ziad Hamoui from Borderless Alliance used the discussions in an advocacy focus on marginalized groups at the Ghanaian borders, which is the topic of his United Nations Economic Commission for Africa essay on Gender and Trade.

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