The Director-General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Michael Lujuge, has applauded efforts being made by government to expedite processes leading up to actualising efficient multimodal linkages that will complement the ongoing massive developments in the nation’s port infrastructure.
Speaking with Eye on Port about the status of Ghana’s ports and their readiness for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the DG of GPHA indicated that the success of every country’s port system is not only seen in availability of world-class port infrastructure, but also the overall efficiency of its hinterland transport systems.
“Trade feeds on distance, time and cost. Connectivity is key. That is why the ideal situation is for you to have multimodal transport. That way, the trader is able to choose from these options the one that best suits him or her in terms of time and money,” he expressed.
He said it is now more needed than ever for Ghana to step-up efforts in developing its rail networks, and also develop its inland water transport systems to open-up opportunities for increased trade as Ghana intends to lead the way in intra-continental trade.
Mr. Luguje explained that with a well-oiled rail system in Ghana, the time and cost of carting goods through the hinterlands will be significantly reduced – as well as traffic congestion on the country’s road networks, which would make the cost of doing business cheaper for importers and exporters.
He cited the Tema Motorway interchange project that has seen phase-1 completed and whereby goods moving to and from the port are going at a speedy rate, which has relieved economic operators.
Mr. Luguje said Ghana’s ports are well-positioned to serve as leading trade and logistics hubs in the sub-region, and he is excited by the African Continental Free Trade Area’s implementation.
He revealed that with completing phase-1 of the Terminal 3, Tema Port is currently the biggest in terms of capacity among all ports in West and Central Africa.
“We have the biggest container terminal within West and Central Africa. If you look at single terminal volumes that are handled, we were able to do 1 million TEUs at the close of 2018 and 2019. Barring COVID-19, our target was to cross the 1 million mark,” the DG asserted.
He said this is being complemented by ongoing expansion of the Takoradi Port which includes the upgrading of the dry bulk jetty with conveyor systems, construction of the multipurpose Atlantic Terminal, the completed liquid bulk terminal, and the pending oil and gas services terminal.
“The Liquid Bulk Terminal has the capacity to serve the whole liquid bulk industry for many years to come,” he said.
The Director-General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, also revealed that these are further boosted by the initiative to construct the Mpakadan Inland Port and Boankra Integrated Logistics Terminal, which will begin soon.