The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) has initiated various feasibilities as it attempts to explore grey areas of the maritime sector that have huge potential for job creation and economic empowerment.
These interventions, according to the ports’ operator, will see the development of additional infrastructure at the Tema and Takoradi ports to embolden plans to make the country’s seaports the preferred choice for trade and leisure within the West Africa sub-region.
Addressing journalists at a soiree in Tema, Director General of the GPHA, Paul Asare Ansah, indicated that aside ongoing works on the container terminal at the Tema Port, the construction of an LNG terminal as well as a cruise and passenger terminal are also on the table for this year.
“We have even initiated the steps to develop other facilities – the LNG terminal, cruise and passenger terminal; these are other developments that are being pursued within this 2018.
We have started the necessary studies leading to the developments of these facilities,” he said.
The construction of a cruise terminal with its accompanying leisure facilities is expected to attract cruise tourists to the Tema Port—which is tipped to come along with numerous job opportunities.
Apart from North America and Europe, other regions of the world account for nearly 85 percent of the world’s population, yet represent only 16 percent of cruisers and that reflects a tremendous opportunity for the cruise industry, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.
Total contributions of the cruise industry to the global economy reached $119.9 billion in 2014, up from $117 billion the previous year with direct expenditures generated by cruise lines, passengers and crews totaling $55.8 billion.
For the Takoradi Port, the GPHA boss said, management is repositioning itself to provide relevant support services in the oil/gas, mining and integrated aluminium industry in addition to general commercial activities.
Quite significantly, he indicated that his outfit is ready to empower Ghanaians to enable them to take part in such infrastructural developments at the ports.
“Ghanaians must be empowered to take full control over every sector of the Ghanaian economy because political independence without economic empowerment is meaningless.
We are determined to empower and grow local capacity to partner with the port authority to lift up the maritime industry”, he stated.
Giving specific mention to the US$422m multi-purpose off-dock container terminal at the Takoradi Port, Mr. Asare Ansah said his outfit was ready to give backing to any Ghanaian firm that wants to invest in port infrastructural development.
The media engagement was targeted at cementing the existing relationship between the port authorities and media—which it sees as a critical partner in the maritime industry—and to solicit suggestions that will help improve efficiency at the ports.
General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Affairs at GPHA, Esther Gyebi-Donkor, called for an improved relationship with the media as the port authority continues to improve its service delivery to clients.
“The port is a very crucial and critical area for our nation building, and those of us who are working in there, we feel privileged and we hope that you also see that area as a very critical area to partner with us to ensure that everything is going well.
We are happy you are able to tell us if we are going wrong and we are also happy you are able to report positively on us throughout the year. So we are grateful, we thank you so much. We would want to deepen the relationship that we have,” she noted.