The West Africa Branch of The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS), has ended its 3rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) which also marked the formal launch of its 10th Anniversary Celebration under the theme “Standardisation Shipping Practices, the role of Education and Training” in Tema. The AGM was attended by Fellows, Members and Student members from Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Gabon and Ghana. Participants from outside the country mainly joined online.
In her welcome address, the immediate past Chairperson of the Branch, Gertrude Adwoa Ohene-Asienim, FICS, said the theme was carefully chosen to be in line our objective of promoting professionalism in Shipping.
“To this end, what we sought to achieve was to foster closer collaboration between ICS, governmental agencies, and the Shipping community. We managed to get bigger platforms to provide education and training support to Institutions and companies mainly on voluntary services. We have forge closer collaboration between ICS and the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA), the National Insurance Commission (NIC), Ghana Maritime Authority and the Regional Maritime University”, She explained.
Gertrude said the Branch is poised to roll out the Understanding Shipping Course which will be mainly online to make our courses accessible to workers and students who want to understand shipping better to enroll. “We have submitted the draft of chapter 9 to head office and have received feedback on it. We will work hard to finish the chapter and get the course rolled out by January 2021” she intimated. The successful rollout of this course will change the face of shipping knowledge in West Africa with practical examples from the region that will give better understanding of shipping to players within the industry.
“ICS embarked on ambitious projects also in connection with the effort to bring shipping closer to our community. We are seriously raising funds for the Maritime Library project to be built at the Regional Maritime University. The architectural design for the project is ready and we would like to thank the head office in London, the Education Trust Fund and all companies who have donated locally for their support, She said.
In addressing the AGM as the Special Guest of honour, Susan Oatway FICS (Institute International Chairman), noted that the role of education and training in this network is paramount. To be able to teach the future leaders of our industry is an honour and a privilege. To ensure that they have the skills needed to take our sector into the future is a huge responsibility, and one that the Institute does not take lightly.
“The Institute is delighted to have such an effective branch in West Africa, with established headquarters in Ghana and an active chapter in Nigeria, supporting members and students throughout the region. It serves an important purpose as a force for professional standards, working closely with government, and has formed strong bonds with institutions including the Regional Maritime University”, she remarked.
The Guest presenter for the day was Mr. Krishnan Subramanian (FICS) the immediate Past President of the Middle East Branch who shared experiences on the 25years journey of the Middle East Branch and lessons that the West Africa Branch can learn from these.
Meanwhile, Mr. Frank Tony Eshun, FICS, newly elected Chairperson for the West Africa Branch reiterated the fact that education and training of indigenous West Africans will be the enabler to play the expected role within the maritime industry.
“We will build on the solid foundation laid by the previous administrations to ensure that the added advantage of having an informed and trained local personnel is realized”, he said.
Mr. Tami Adu (FICS) from Nigeria was elected as Vice Chairman for the Branch.
Awards and Citations were presented to the past director of the Institute, Julie Lithgow for her dedication and support to the Institute and the branch during her tenure as director. Other deserving fellows and student members were also awarded.