The development of the African Maritime Safety and Security Agency was first deliberated during the proceedings of the 3rd Assembly of the ICHCA Canaries-Africa Regional Charter Ports conference held 10-11 December 2007 in Accra, Ghana. The thrust of the proceedings was African port logistics, trade, the maritime economy and the overall capacities of the African integrated maritime transport (supply chain).
The discussion relating to Maritime Safety and Security related to the socio-economic and environmental benefits of developing a maritime safety orientated intelligent support framework. The purpose of which would be to provide new scientific research, harmonised statistical data, and the development of management models in relation to the economic impacts for the port and shipping industries of maritime safety and security issues. The development of a North West Africa Maritime Safety Agency (NWAMSA) was considered as a process that would optimize opportunities
The conference proceeding established without question that effective operations of African port activities are vital for the well being of communities, and that the ‘turn around’ for incoming vessels is an important factor relating to the economic viability of the sector. It was agreed that overall concerns relating to maritime safety and security affairs were impinging upon the operational capacity of the African maritime sector, and it was noted that such issues are aggravating the overall maritime management process.
The ICHCA Canaries-African ports and shipping industries representatives’ consensus was that the development of methodologies to respond to Maritime Safety and in particular the irregular immigration phenomena, is a priority for the maritime transport sector. The change of title occurred after the printing of the first report when representatives of the African maritime community noted that the tools and mechanisms developed through the organisation would provide benefits for the the whole of Africa due to the international perspective of maritime it was thus justified that the NWAMSA should become AMSSA. The organsiation became a legal entity during 2010.