Port Efficiency and Public Private Capacity (PEPP)


Start date: 16 January, 2019 End date: 30 September, 2022 Project type: Research collaboration projects in growth and transition countries (Window 2) Project code: 18-M02-AU Countries: Ghana Thematic areas: State building, governance and civil society, Water management and sanitation, 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: 4,997,029 DKK

Project summary

PEPP aims to map and improve approaches to CD for the maritime sector in Ghana in order to enhance the potential of the maritime sector to drive Ghana’s economic growth in a sustainable manner. PEPP focuses on implicit and explicit alliances between public and private entities in shaping capacity development (CD) programs as a result of a constantly changing port service economy at the unique site of Tema Port in Ghana. Public and private stakeholders and researchers often treat CD as an unconditional good. Based on contextual quantitative and qualitative research methods, PEPP will critically investigate the aims, effects, and politics of CD with specific focus on continuities and ruptures in conditions for CD when moving from aid-to-trade. Inspired by disagreements in the literature on the link between efficiency and corruption, PEPP will investigate how intended and unintended shared (mis)understandings of values influence a possible mechanism for standardization of regulations and procedures through partnerships of the Maersk Group, the IMO, and Ghanaian and Danish public servants. PEPP is highly relevant to the Ghanaian maritime sector policies, the Danish strategic sector cooperation with Ghana, Danish companies, and the Danish aid-to-trade strategy for Ghana, which all refer to effective measures to ensure sustainable development through public private partnerships in advancing capabilities in the maritime sector in Ghana. PEPP will contribute to creating new jobs and making temporary jobs permanent in all parts of the Port labor market including HRM, processing of single entry to the port, pilots, inspectors, customs officers, and tugboat masters (SDG 14). PEPP findings will also have implications for quality education at the Anglophone West African Regional Maritime University and other institutions (SDG 4).


Second Annual Report

The PEPP project is proceeding according to plan as both joint fieldworks in 2019 and 2020 are completed and we have been busily attending conferences and co-writing articles since. At the Port of Tema, we have interviewed more than 100 people and been present to observe practices for more than 200 hours. Four intense writing retreats have provided time and focus for us to share experiences of mutual inspiration and develop our transdisciplinary understandings of what is at stake at the port for different people and institutions. During our second round of interviews in February and March 2020, we followed up and asked new questions of our interviewees from numerous groups within and beyond the port. We spent the rest of the year analyzing our findings and submitting five academic articles. The World Customs Journal published our first article about the social-political underpinnings of the digital transformation of the port. Four articles are under review spanning topics from digital trade facilitation, legitimacy and efficiency to the local uses of the Berthing Meetings. In April 2021, we held a hybrid stakeholder workshop in order to validate and discuss some of our findings. We are currently finalizing two articles about socio-technical imaginaries and capacity development. Our monthly zoom update meetings and the online co-writing of articles have further strengthened the team and we are now integrating three new members in our team for future research collaboration.

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