The first International Green Shipping Conference in Africa has been held in Ghana for Africa’s maritime stakeholders to discuss how to take advantage of opportunities to become part of the global green transition of the shipping sector.
The conference saw participation by Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Kitack Lim, and brought together thought-leaders, experts and think-tanks, whose ideas and perspectives will lay the foundation for Africa’s gradual transition from fossil fuels to green fuel in maritime transport.
The Conference was under the auspices of the International Maritime Organisation and Danish Maritime Authority, with the Ghana Maritime Authority as the host organisation.
Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation, Kitack Lim, revealed that this year the IMO is seeking to introduce an upgraded strategy on the Reduction of Green House Gas Emissions from Ships – which is expected to set the framework for the way forward in support of decarbonising shipping.
The revised strategy containing a basket of technical and economic measures, he said, “will provide the necessary certainty for all stakeholders to invest in future fuels and ship-related technologies. And it will be the necessary catalyst to unlock new opportunities for African countries, particularly in renewable fuel production but also retro-fitting of ships and the digitalisation of port operations”.
He said the IMO will support member-states, including developing countries, implement measures to ensure that no one is left behind in the green agenda.
“I know that decarbonisation presents challenges for many developing countries. At IMO, we are committed to examining and addressing the impact of the measures we adopt to achieve on this end. With this in mind, we are also committed to support member-states to unlock the potential that green shipping presents. I am confident that African countries stand in a prime position to unlock this potential.”
Ghana’s Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, said while Ghana’s government embraces the green agenda there is a need for developing states be considered.
Mr. Asiamah said: “Developing countries remain challenged with the lack of green transportation infrastructure that would have ensured a sustainable future for us all. It is therefore imperative that the impact of measures on states – including developing countries, and in particular those classified as Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing states – should be considered. They should never be left behind”.
The Director General of Ghana Maritime Authority, Thomas Kofi Alonsi, encouraged African states to open themselves up to unlocking potentials in renewable energy.
“As the maritime industry forges ahead in its quest to attain a zero-carbon society, the need for cleaner fuels and its associated technologies will also increase significantly and urgently. Africa, however, has the potential to be a major ship energy source as the continent has vast and untapped renewable resources that position us to benefit from the green transition and maritime decarbonisation,” the GMA boss averred.
Speaking on the sidelines of the conference, Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Tom Norring, acknowledged the decade-long fruitful collaborations which have existed between Denmark and Ghana in promoting sustainable shipping.