Seychelles' Port Victoria to go digital by October for 50th anniversary
Derjaques said that the project is in line with the government's digitalisation plans. (Seychelles Ports Authority)
Seychelles' Port Victoria is working towards digitalising its services to coincide with the commercial port's 50th anniversary in October, said a top official on Monday.
"The Port of Victoria Management Information System (PVMIS) is an ambitious goal, yet crucial in modernising and synchronising the port's operations," said transport minister Antony Derjaques at the launch of the project.
PVMIS is a web-based solution designed for real-time planning and management of port operations through full control of core port activities such as vessel traffic management, vessel calls and cargo-handling operations among others.
The deputy chief executive of the Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA), Egbert Moustache said "the system will streamline processes before the vessels' arrival, optimise cargo flows and improves the efficiency of operations by giving all stakeholders access to quality information via a single web-based application."
Local representatives from immigration, the port and relevant partners attended a meeting on Monday at the New Port in Victoria where the digitalisation process was explained through presentations.
Derjaques said that the project is in line with the government's digitalisation plans, calling for the automation of most operations and having a national database.
The project will also allow Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, to comply by 2024 with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Convention for Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic known as the FAL Convention.
The FAL Convention came into force in 1967, with all countries that ratified it benefitting from the formulation and adoption of uniform measures facilitating maritime traffic.
"The Convention encourages the use of the so-called "single window" concept in which all agencies and authorities exchange data via a single point," Moustache elaborated.
According to the IMO, a maritime single window is "a one-stop service environment that covers maritime and port administrative procedures."
"So far most countries in our region are already compliant," said Moustache.
In addition to celebrating the commercial port's 50th anniversary, Moustache said the project, "which has been on the SPA 's strategic plan for over a decade, comes at the right moment since the authority is undertaking the port expansion project to modernise its facilities and infrastructure."
The project is a collaboration between SPA, as well as InfoPort and 4SH – both companies based in Reunion, a French overseas department – and the European Union through its Africa RISE initiative.
Over the coming days, consultants will be carrying out the business mapping process through which they will get information from all SPA's stakeholders. Once this is done, they will proceed to develop the system that will be used, provided by InfoPort.
While the EU is assisting Seychelles with the consultants for the project, Moustache told the press that it would cost the SPA €400,000 to buy the application.
"The money was already in the SPA budget, it is just that certain situations have delayed the implementation. When you realise that it costs more than the stated price that we are going to pay, I believe we have had a very good deal," he added.
One of the areas that will be covered is also passenger information on cruise ships, which the authorities say they are still in discussion on how to proceed with Travizory technology of the Seychelles Electronic Border System, which is already in place for issuing travel authorisations for travellers entering the country.