Business News of 2014-06-15

Collaborate to address challenges in maritime sector – Attivor

The Minister of Transport, Mrs Dzifa Aki Attivor, has called for an intensive collaboration among African governments to address the major challenges that pose a threat to the growth of the maritime sector on the continent.
Mrs Attivor, who made the call at the 14th Board of Governors Meeting of the Regional Maritime University (RMU) in Accra, observed that illegal activities on the sea, such as piracy, illegal bunkering and theft of crude oil, unregulated fishing, arms, drugs and human trafficking, continued to pose a major threat to the navigational safety of the maritime sector on the continent.
She said in addition to these, there was the problem of environmental damage caused by the dumping of toxic waste and the discharge of oil into the sea.
Board of governors meeting
The five member states of the RMU (Ghana, The Gambia, Cameroun, Liberia and Sierra Leone) meet twice yearly to take stock of the university’s past activities, achievements and challenges and take decisions to promote its further growth. The meetings also provide a platform for the member states to confer on how to promote regional integration.
This year’s meeting considered recommendations for the appointment of a new rector to take over from the outgoing Rector, Captain Aaron Turkson.
Ghana’s contribution
Mrs Attivor said Ghana played an active role in the regional efforts that resulted in the signing of the Yaounde Code of Conduct by Heads of State of the Gulf of Guinea region for the repression of piracy, armed robbery and other organised maritime crimes.
The Yaounde declaration provides the road map for dealing with maritime insecurity in the region and urges countries to commence the implementation of strategies to address maritime security concerns.
Mrs Attivor said Ghana became one of the first countries to fulfil one of the major strategies of the declaration — the creation of national maritime information centres — adding, “this has been achieved through the establishment of a Vessel Traffic Management Information System (VTMS).”
Pan-African ideals
For his part, the Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure of The Gambia, Mr Garba Jahumpa, underscored the need for the removal of regional blocs that hindered the determination of African countries to come together.
“Unless African countries also come together, the actual emancipation of Africa and improvement in our well-being will continue to elude us. We have to embrace and put into practice the Pan-African ideals and practices of the late Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and other illustrious sons of our continent,” he advised.
He said given the obvious interdependence of international communities, no one nation could single-handedly respond to the needs and aspirations of its citizens in an adequate manner, adding, “We must act in unison and show solidarity with one another.”
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