Minister of Transport, Hon. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, has said that the government’s heavy investment in modern information systems and equipment to ensure the safety and security of Ghana’s territorial waters are already yielding results and boosting the image of the country.
For instance, he said the country through the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) has recently acquired five-speed boats and two search and rescue boats to ensure safety within the country’s maritime space.
The vessels are to help clamp down on an increasing spate of illicit and criminal activities on Ghana’s territorial waters while the rescue boats are used for quick and effective evacuation of victims or survivors in case of emergency and accidents.
Similarly, the country has also invested a significant amount of money in the upgrade of drastic traffic management information systems which enables the monitoring of activities in the maritime space of the West African nation and beyond.
These tools enable effective and direct communication with captains of vessels to provide real-time assistance in the event of pirate attacks.
With the tools, equipment and or machinery already in use, Hon. Ofori Asiamah said the country’s territorial waters are now safe and attracting lots of vessels.
“Ghana is therefore on course to becoming a safe haven for vessels in the sub-region. Due to such investments and the positive strives made over the years, we keep enjoying the attention of many other and regular vessels to dock and refuel in Ghana”, he noted.
Hon. Ofori Asiamah made this observation when addressing Justices of the Superior Courts of Ghana on the occasion of the 12th Maritime Law Seminar held in Accra on October 11-12, 2019.
The event held every two years was designed by the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) in collaboration with the Judicial Training Institute (JTI) to bring about 70 Justices of the Superior Courts of Judicature together in order to deepen their understanding and knowledge on maritime-related matters.
It was also to further enrich and strengthen justice delivery on maritime related cases.
Speaking further, he said government remains committed to positioning Ghana as the preferred destination for business in the West African sub-region, particularly, the shipping and logistics center since the maritime industry in the foreseeable future, will continue to remain the main driver of intra and international trade to stimulate growth and socio-economic development.
As a result of this, he said government in partnership with the private sector is investing heavily in port expansion both in Takoradi and in Tema.
“The ultra-modern MPS terminal which is equipped with the state of the art facilities and logistics has the capacity to receive bigger vessels is one example of such bigger investments the government is pursuing. The government has for the first time in the history of Ghana, given the opportunity for indigenous Ghanaian business people to develop the Takoradi port; a multi-purpose terminal to the tune of $450million. That is the commitment of the government”, he underscored. He added, “We believe that we cannot develop our infrastructure without the direct involvement of our people and we want to showcase that the Ghanaian indigenous people also have the capacity to develop”.
Delivering the keynote address at the Seminar, the Chief Justice of the land, Her Ladyship Justice Sophia Akuffo, urged the Justices to apprise themselves with maritime laws in the area of Ocean Governance and Maritime Trade since disputes and conflicts in these areas have become inevitable in the fast pace of technological advancement.