Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, has made a passionate appeal to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and other big players in the Blue Economy to effectively collaborate with Ghana to develop its maritime industry.
Mr Asiamah is seeking for collaboration in areas such as safety, port expansion and reforms to transforms the maritime industry.
“The marine belongs to all of us but the business on our waters do not belong to all of us. So, I will appeal to the IMO and the big players to also try to collaborate with us. Apart from that, we need a lot of reforms to at least catch up with the big players. So if they are bringing in any reforms – not that we want them out of business but we also cannot be going back forever. A journey with a thousand mile begins with a step”, he noted.
He added “…without your collaboration, it will be very difficult to protect and develop the maritime industry”.
The Transport Minister made this observation when the Secretary-General of the IMO, Kitack Lim paid a courtesy call on him at his office, to outline some strategic plans the Organization intends to embark on to support the maritime industry in Africa, especially, Ghana.
Mr. Lim whose visit to Ghana was the first since assuming the highest position of the IMO had told the Transport Minister that a lot of activities in the maritime industry in Africa are not much known to the rest of the world, hence, his decision to visit some countries in the continent to familiarize himself with the challenges confronting them and see how best the Organization could support them.
“Singapore has seen a lot of development for the last 20 years. Similarly, I see the big potentials here [Ghana]. I am talking with my people on how we will promote relevant economic activities at the international level. So, we need a strategy”, he noted.
Mr Asiamah commenting further, lauded Mr. Lim for showing keen interest and developing a strategic plan to support the development of the maritime industry in Africa but cautioned that such plans must have the political backing of the various African leaders.