The visit of the new Meridian Port Services (MPS) container Terminal at Tema Port was on the itinerary of the EU Commission Vice-President H.E. Katainen while in Ghana.
H.E. Katainen was accompanied by Prof. Joe Amoako-Tuffour, member and secretary of Ghana's economic management team and both Ambassadors of Ghana to the EU, Mrs. Sena Siaw-Boateng, and the EU to Ghana H.E. Ms. Diana Acconcia among other delegates.
MPS is joint venture company between Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and APM Terminals and Bollore transport & Logistics both of which are among the top European companies and leading this icon port infrastructure development which is providing strategic enhanced capacity for international and regional trade.
The immediate cash flow need for the Tema Port Expansion Project was pumped as fresh equity by the European shareholders to meet the obligation under the project finance agreement with IFC. Among the IFC led syndication the EU FMO provided USD 50 Million of the total USD 667 million loan arranged by the IFC. The CEO confirmed that the project on schedule and within budget too.
The presentation stimulated discussions about Ghana’s unique status when it comes to trade. Not only does Ghana exports and imports more than most of its neighbouring countries, unlike others Ghana has also managed to keep its export diversified with cocoa, gold, oil and gas.
This diversification protects Ghana from drops in prices of a single raw materials, which can have devastating effects on a country’s economy. Ghana’s export of cocoa is the most important job generator and livelihood guarantee in the rural areas.
The new Tema Port is expected to increase Ghana’s connectivity, shorter transit time and lower its transport and logistics costs as well as the prices of imported goods. This is expected to increase import, export and domestic production and in turn increase jobs and GDP.
The CEO demonstrated the new Tema Port has potential for increasing Ghana’s export by +/- 15%, which is associated with +/- 2% increased GDP and +/- 4.0% more jobs
Analysing Ghana’s job engine, The CEO of MPS indicated that the agricultural sector stands to benefit most from the increased EXPORT accruing from new Tema Port.
He highlighted that according to the UN COMTRADE statistics, Ghana’s export primarily consists of gold (around 42%), petroleum (around 26%) and agricultural products (around 23%). Together, these three product groups are responsible for around 91% of Ghana’s export.
However, while petroleum and gold create very few jobs, around 3% and 1%, respectively, agriculture production is responsible for around 31% of Ghana’s total employment. Therefore, if the new Tema Port boosts the competitiveness of Ghana’s export, it is Ghana’s agricultural export that will create most jobs.
“Ghana’s agricultural sector is paramount for the country’s employment and poverty reduction”, Mr. Samara said.
MPS Terminal 3 is Africa’s new state-of-the-art container terminal at Tema Port. Well equipped, to boost handling capacity and make Ghanaian entrepreneurs save time and do more business.
Like many successful hubs (Salalah Oman, Tanjung Pelepas Malaysia and Tangier Med Morocco etc.) MPS Terminal 3 at Tema Port is a game changer. MPS is bringing greater connectivity to Ghana’s economy.
As knock on effect of the MPS investment; Terminal 3 will boost the national and regional trade, generating significant revenues for Ghana’s economic and social development and employment, with thousands of jobs created and opportunities for high-skilled jobs and for the benefit of the whole economic dynamism and development of Ghana.
Mr. Samara added “Ghana is a cutting edge nation and will thrive with the connectivity of MPS Terminal 3” and affirming that “the MPS investment is an attestation to the realisation of the GHANA BEYOND AID vision of HE. President Akufo-Addo. Moreover, MPS is gearing up to deliver on His Excellency’s longer-term goal for Ghana to become a thriving emerging market economy-one that has the capacity to unlock the full potential of Ghanaians, young and old, rich and poor, here in Greater Accra and across this nation.”
From the Boardroom presentation the delegation was taken on a tour to inspect the Terminal facility and drove through the containers delivery route and had a feel to the sophisticated paperless process then stopped at the newly created wharf to observe the waterfront operations by the largest and most advanced gantry cranes.
The entire delegation including Vice President and the Ambassadors when up to the gantry cranes to have a real feel to the sheer power of these machines and witness Ghanaian operators and engineers running this cutting-edge technology.
The EU Vice President was very much focused on development, private capital investment in infrastructure that leads to job creation and economic growth.
It was clear to him that the MPS port project is the perfect model for a successful private-public collaboration that adds value and boosts economy. H.E. left with a huge positive impression which he echoed in his closing remarks of the Ghana-EU Business Forum alongside H.E. Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana.
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