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Ghana joined the rest of the world last Thursday to celebrate this year’s World Maritime Day which has been set aside by the United Nations to recognise the enormous contribution of the maritime industry to the growth and sustainability of the global economy.
The ceremony which was organised by the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) in conjunction with the Regional Maritime University (RMU) under the theme “Connecting Ships, Ports and People” came off at the parade ground of the university.
The Vice Chancellor of RMU, Professor Elvis Nyarko, in an address noted that the theme for the commemoration was imperative because of the critical roles people play by connecting ships and ports with the needed human resource.
He said RMU, as the centre of excellence for maritime education in the West and Central African sub region, will continue to train and build the capacities of students and seafarers with the required skills and knowledge for the growth of the maritime industry.
Prof Nyarko paid glowing tribute to the Founder of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, for his foresight in establishing the university and also commended all past presidents for the various roles they played in building on what Nkrumah started.
The lack of a training vessel for the students to be offered practical seafaring engagements to acquire mandatory experience before completing the university must be addressed by government, the vice chancellor appealed.
He observed that seafarers in the Far East especially the Philippines dominate the seafaring population in the world because they have been given the needed resources and logistics by their governments for the training and building of their capacities and skills.
On his part, the Director General of GMA, Mr Kwame Owusu, said his outfit will “continue to collaborate with the RMU to ensure the training and certification of Ghanaian seafarers are conducted in accordance with highest international standards in order to give them competitive advantage in the international labour market.”
He added that the GMA has drafted the Shipping Service Providers Regulation which would be subjected to stakeholders consultations and eventually submitted to parliament for passage into law.
The draft regulation, he said, is intended to regulate the activities of shipping service providers such as shipping agents and owners, freight forwarders, container service providers among others with the view of ensuring an efficient, cost-effective and orderly provision of shipping services in Ghana.
Speaking on behalf of the transport minister, the Chief Director of the Ministry, Mr Twumasi Ankrah observed that the promotion of seaborne trade and intra-African trade among member states is critical to the sustainable development of economic growth.
“Efficient shipping working in partnership with the port sector supported by government, ability to streamline procedures and removal of excessive barriers to trade and creating new technology, rooting out corruption , and creating safety, security and reputation are desirable and marketable, would be a major driver towards stability and sustainable development for the good of all people,” he said
He added that for the connection of ports, ships and people to be sustainable it must be secure and it is the reason why the International Maritime Organisation has charged governments to invest in maritime security to protect global maritime trade.
He called on all stakeholders in the maritime industry to effectively work together in the promotion of best practices and standards.
Source: Romeo Adzah