Business News of Thursday, 20 February 2020
Source: Eye on Port
The fourth session of the executive council meeting of the Association of African Maritime Administrators (AAMA) has been organised in Accra, to discuss issues confronting the maritime industry, including wealth creation through the protection and sustainable exploitation of the African Maritime Domain.
Members of the AAMA who attended the two-day event came from countries including Ghana, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Comoros, Mozambique, South Africa, Egypt, Sudan, Uganda, and Nigeria.
The participants also discussed among other things the role the AAMA is playing in the implementation of Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS) 2050.
The Director-General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Thomas Kofi Alonsi, revealed that his outfit in keeping with its mandate has removed tree stumps that caused significant problems to navigation in Ghana’s inland waters to ensure safety.
“If you go onto the Volta Lake now, we are on the second leg of a project that involves ensuring that all three stumps around a certain area where our canoes and boats ply are removed to ensure that we have safety as far as navigation on the inland waters are concerned,” he said.
He revealed that the Authority has purchased new boats to enhance its capacity towards the prevention of crimes at sea, especially considering the rise of piracy and kidnappings in the Gulf of Guinea.
“The Authority has also procured a number of boats. Just about two weeks ago, two of them have come into the country. These are to assist us in at least policing our oceans to ensure that incidents of piracy, robbery and all these illicit activities you can think of are curtailed,” he revealed.
The Deputy Minister of Transport, Daniel Titus-Glover, praised the allied efforts of Ghana’s security agencies in ensuring that international trade is protected on the country’s territorial waters and urged other countries in the Gulf of Guinea region to increase their own efforts to curtail piracy.
“Under the leadership of the Ghana Armed Forces, particularly the Ghana navy with the support of the Marine Police, the Ghana Maritime Authority is providing all the resources to make sure that from the east to the west of our territorial waters are safe to promote international trade. So we believe that our other sister countries will do the same to make sure that we protect merchants.”
He lamented the inadequate participation of Africa at the International Maritime Organisation’s executive council and said his ministry will work behind the scenes to push for increased participation with the objective of improved representation of issues affecting the African maritime landscape.
“I have appealed to this section and I will let my minister of transport know, he will discuss with the president then at that level, they will be able to talk it over to make sure that at least Africa should have more representation at the IMO executive council. 3 out of 38 countries is woefully inadequate,” he bemoaned.
The representatives of the Association of African Maritime Administrators after the two-day seminar familiarised themselves with operations at the Port at Tema by touring some terminals including the new Terminal 3 managed by MPS.