Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), Mr Daniel Appianin, has called for a Maritime Transport Policy (MTP) to effectively address the regulatory and safety issues.
He said stakeholders in the maritime industry had come to the realisation that it was time to have a conversation on maritime issues, critical among them being the MTP.
“Maritime transportation is a prime mover of trade and is also considered to be the most cost-effective transport option, worldwide,” Mr Appianin said on Wednesday at the opening of a three-day National Maritime Transport Policy (NMTP) Workshop in Accra.
“It is estimated that about 80 percent of global trade by volume and over 70 percent of global trade by value are carried by sea and are handled by ports worldwide.”
It should be noted, however, that the maritime industry faces numerous regulatory, infrastructure, security, safety and pollution prevention challenges that threaten its sustainability.
The workshop was organised by the GMA, in collaboration with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Its objective is to raise awareness on the importance of NMTP as a good governance practice by engaging the representatives of the various ministries and agencies and other stakeholders in a meaningful dialogue.
This would lay the basis for developing such a policy, which could form part of or be parallel to a broader national integrated maritime policy or ocean governance policy.
He said the rapid changes in maritime education and training, port infrastructural development, global trade, security, safety, and marine pollution prevention and response challenges required swift development and implementation of a NMTP.
“A MTP will allow us to address all such challenges in the most comprehensive and systematic manner while creating the enabling environment for the country to enjoy the full benefits of our marine resources,” Mr Appianin said.
Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, the Minister of Transport, in a speech read on his behalf, said the maritime sector had been a major contributor to Ghana’s development agenda, and its international trade relations.
He said Ghana had recently reviewed its National Transport Policy developed in 2008, which includes the National Maritime Law.
The Policy had been reviewed in line with international best practices as well as incorporated emerging issues in transport such as environmental and climate change.