Accra, July 24, GNA - The Regional Maritime Academy (RMA) would from January next year assume an university status under the name; the Regional Maritime University.
The sub-regional maritime educational institution comprising Ghana, Sierra Leone, the Gambia, Cameroon and Liberia is already an affiliate of the World Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden and the University of Ghana, Legon.
Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, Minister of Ports, Harbours and Railways, announced this in Accra on Tuesday at the Meet-The-Press series organised by the Ministry of Information and National Orientation.
He said steps were far advanced to establish affiliates with other universities within West and Central Africa and beyond. "The main problem facing the academy presently is the problem of aging staff," Prof Ameyaw-Akumfi said, adding that, plans were far advanced to replace them with younger and professional staff. He said the objectives of the Academy were to develop a comprehensive and liberal programme of maritime education and training to meet the current technological innovations associated with shipboard operations and fishing industry.
He said with an increase in student population, the government was working at building a modern auditorium with a large seating capacity.
Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi said the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA it had been committed to government's policy of private sector-led growth for the past five years.
"Before year 2001, only two private stevedoring companies operated in both the Tema and Takoradi ports, but currently there were nine stevedoring companies including the GPHA."
He said significant strides had been made at the ports after having successfully privatized most functions, including container scanning, waste management and off-dock container terminal operations, among others.
"With all these, there is a higher level of professionalism, a greater degree of choice for service delivery and more attention to customer service," Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi said.