The Director-General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Michael Luguje, is the latest to lament the consequences of the Russia-Ukraine war on international trade.
According to him, grain imports have taken a dip due to the war, emanating from the reliance on that region for Ghana’s grain requirements.
Michael Luguje, who is also the President of the Ports Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA), was speaking on the side lines of the Meeting of Harbour Masters and Network in Tema, Ghana.
The Director-General said feedback from shippers of wheat and fertiliser in particular, lamented that the Eastern Europe area represented 20-25 of the origin of their commodities.
Due to the war, the shippers may have to consider alternatives for their supply which is costlier, leading to a reduction in bulk imports.
Mr. Michael Luguje said: “For now, we are anticipating that we might have drops of up to 20-25 percent in those bulk cargoes that are coming from those regions”.
He continued, however, that: “We need to get closer to the end of the year to get the true numbers in terms of what is going to drop”.
The GPHA Boss also called for measures to be implemented to strengthen resilience of African ports and the shipping industry in order to avoid future shocks that may emerge.
He made these comments in reflection of the unprecedented events of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Russia-Ukraine war on the world front.
“When we say resilience, I mean that in every planning that is done, you need to factor in the extreme opposites of what to expect. This could be that you could wake up one morning and you cannot step into your office. You have to put systems in place that will ensure that the ports continue to run. Also, this can be helped by augmenting all other remote related arrangements, such as ICT and digitalisation,” Mr. Luguje articulated.