PMAWCA was established in October 1972 under the auspices of the Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and it covers the seaports located along the West Coast of Africa including Mauritania and Angola. The shipping area covers a coastline about 12,000 km. Its ports handle about 300 million tons of maritime import/export trade for the sub-region excluding crude oil. Many of the countries in this region are producing and exporting crude oil in commercial quantities while some others have also discovered oil in commercial quantities and are preparing to commence production in the near future. The Association’s membership has grown from just nine since inception, to forty members in 2018.