Gov’t to prioritise local content in maritime industry

Mr. Kweku Ofori Asiamah

Transport Minister, Kweku Ofori Asiamah, has announced government’s strong will to strictly enforce local content policy in the maritime transports sector as it seeks to create jobs for the youth.

Inaugurating the maritime sector policy think-tank, Ghana Chamber of Shipping (GCS) in Accra, he said: “Within the framework of globalization and in accordance with best practices, the ministry will continue to corporate structures, policies and innovations to ensure that the tenets of country’s local content policy are manifested in the maritime transport sector.

Works that should be reserved for indigenes in accordance with best practices will be enforced, and this time around, we expect the maximum cooperation from our development partners.”

According to the minister, the numerous investments in ports infrastructure across the country underscores the relevance of the maritime transport sector with regards to its job and wealth creation opportunities.

He added: “We will continue to develop the maritime sector with secured transport infrastructure that will propel the economy towards growth.

Highlighting the threats of the maritime industry, Mr. Asiamah indicated that the establishment of the chamber comes handy as he banks on the expertise of its members to propel the sustained growth of the sea trade industry.

Our position as a safe haven for maritime trade should not be taken for granted; we must ensure that we come up with the right measures that will keep the industry at pace with the existing threats of the industry.

“The expertise of the chamber will come in handy as they will help to provide pragmatic solutions to the challenges of the maritime sector,” he said.

Ghana Chamber of Shipping is a maritime sector policy think-tank that boasts individuals with huge wealth of expertise, most of whom have held top level positions in various stakeholder entities in the maritime sector for over several decades.

The chamber will not serve as a regulator or an umbrella body of stakeholders in the shipping industry but as an independent voice that will laise with government, policymakers and sector agencies on various initiatives that will promote the growth of the sea trade business.

It is manned by a 10-member advisory council chaired by maritime consultant, Ben Owusu-Mensah with the Chairman of Meridian Port Services, Alhaji Asoma Banda, as its Life Patron. Former head of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA), Dr. Kofi Mbiah, is the Chief Executive Officer of the chamber.

Dr. Kofi Mbiah, in his remarks, highlighted that the maritime industry is in dire need of relevant expertise and knowledge to help tackle the challenge of cyber insecurity, piracy and other maritime crimes.

He said: “The fear of cyber attacks on autonomous ships, the risks of diversion of vessels and cargoes to places far removed from their planned destination ports is a constant reminder of the emerging threats that have to be faced head on.

The knowledge and expertise of persons who have worked in the sector should be leveraged to shape the fortunes of the industry.”