Members of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Ghana paid a visit to the Tema Port Expansion Project on Wednesday 22nd of May 2019. This was to enable the members to familiarize themselves of the scope of works done since their last visit in the early stages of the construction process.
Speaking to the gathering, the Project Director, Mr Mark Nolet explained that among other things, the new port was expected to boost Ghana’s port productivity to meet global standards in port competitiveness.
“The resolve is to make Ghana an economic hub for West Africa. With the opening and creation of new service routes, we do not only connect Africa to the rest of the world at a reduced trade cost. We also would elevate Ghana’s performance in terms of the Liner Shipping Connectivity Index (LSCI). Although we are situated at the centre of the world, there is very little connectivity with the rest of the world. This new port would address this challenge with the increased volumes.
He cited the Port of Tangier in Morroco and the Port of Tanjung (Malaysia) as classic examples of ports that were built from scratch that have gone on to become key economic drivers for their countries.
“There is a lot of gains to be made from a project of such a nature. This has been done successfully elsewhere as such it can also be done in Ghana.”
After a presentation on the company and its exploits in Ghana’s maritime industry and an interactive tour the new terminal. Some members shared their views on the project and its implication on their organisations.
For, Mr.Johnson Oware of Ecobank, the new port meant that their clients could pay up loans quickly to forestall crisis in the financial sector.
In terms of trade facilitation, this is really fantastic and the reason is that today we can monitor the timing for imports and exports. As a bank, when financing traders, we look at the time it takes to clear goods so this is a great addition and such that we expect that goods would be cleared faster and people will be able to start selling and pay back loans and make funds available to us to repay suppliers and so for us the impact is great in terms of turnarounds.
Also in terms of throughput, we are very excited about things like this because we would see a lot more volumes and trade coming to Ghana instead of the neighbouring ports such as Togo. So we see this as something very important that would add a lot to the economy.
Sandrine Holden of COMEXAS was enthusiastic about MPS collaboration with the Government and governmental agencies to facilitate faster movement of cargo from the port.
“MPS’ partnership with GPHA and the state agencies such as CUSTOMS, FDA, GSA will make our work smoother. The reduction of the physical examination because of the scanners that are to be installed in this port will make clearing a container a lot quicker. The efficient operations of the process is what we hope for”
Many of the members expressed their admiration at how the 1st phase of the project had been completed on schedule.