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THEME FOR 2017 WORLD MARITIME DAY,"CONNECTING SHIPS, PORTS, AND PEOPLE"

Oct 06, 2017

“Connecting ships, ports, and people”.

The Ghana Maritime Authority in collaboration with the Regional Maritime University during the last week in September organized a series of activities to mark Ghana’s version of the World Maritime Day 2017.

World Maritime Day is an official United Nations day which provides an opportunity to focus attention on the importance of shipping and other maritime activities. It is also used to highlight the significant contribution of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and its Member States to global efforts in improving the safety, security and efficiency of shipping and protection of the marine environment.

The theme for this year, “Connecting Ships, Ports, and People”, seeks to recognize the various state and non-state actors (Ships, Ports & People) involved in the daily operations that contribute to the over 90% of the volume of world trade.

Based on the theme, the GMA brought together all maritime stakeholders in the week long activities that included Fun games, TV talk show, a Lecture, and a durbar. The fun games united the maritime fraternity to interact through games. The TV talk show took place at the GBC breakfast morning show to shed more light on the event as well as educating the Ghanaian audience about the importance of the Maritime sector to the nation’s economic worth. The Maritime lecture which was delivered by Dr. Kofi Mbiah, an astute maritime lawyer, touched on the theme as an avenue of interconnectedness, uniting all maritime stakeholders in their participation of ensuring maximum benefit of Ghana’s blue economy. The parade and grand durbar climaxed the event at the Regional maritime university campus.

Delivering the Maritime lecture, Dr. Kofi Mbiah commented on the United Nations Development goal of sustaining the blue economy which is the universal treasure for all of humanity. He indicated that there will be no ships connecting people to ports if the sea, which is the blue economy remains the world’s dumping sites of all forms of toxic and solid wastes. “Mr. Chairman, distinguished invited guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, the impacts of climate change on ocean – rising sea levels, coastal erosion, changing ocean current patterns and acidification are staggering. But more importantly, according to the World Bank study, is the fact that the oceans still remain an important carbon sink that can mitigate the effects of climate change. Over 80% of litter in the oceans is from land based sources. For how long will the ocean serve as the World’s dustbin? Our quest for sustainability of the oceans should lead us to better manage our waste on land in order to preserve the oceans”. He encouraged the GMA, and the RMU to continue to employ modern and innovational methods of training and certification to enable Ghana live up to her commitment of attaining and sustaining the UNSDG.

In his welcome address, the Vice chancellor of the Regional Maritime University (RMU) appreciated the GMA for hosting the 2017 world maritime day as well as the parallel events that formed part of activities marking the Day. Commenting on the theme for 2017, he described the “people: as the manpower behind the motion of ships. According to him the Seafarers play a vital role in ensuring maritime trade efficiency. He affirmed that institutional structures by the Regional Maritime University have been the factor of success for all the teaming African students trained by the University,  “Therefore, the people in the theme, in our opinion, refers to the role of Seafarers in connecting ships to ports.  The Regional Maritime University which has a rich and prestigious heritage in Maritime Education and Training will continue to play its part in training world class seafarers in accordance with the Standard Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW 1978 as amended in 1995 and 2010). This is to support the fact that having the right training and skill, goes a long way to ensure that the ships gets  connected to the ports safely, and timely.

On his part, the Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority informed the audience about how his organization is working at ensuring the SDG by bringing up legislations that would ensure that the Cabotage law is implemented and sustained to give priority to local content in the Maritime Industry. As the agency in charge of regulating the Maritime industry of Ghana and the sole implementer of the International Maritime Organization’s regulations, the DG indicated that the GMA has revised certain laws on shipping which when implemented would regulate all aspects of shipping including welfare of the ship, the shipper community, and the crew that operate the ships. “To this end the Authority will this year, through the Ministry of Transport  seek  Cabinet approval for the ratification by Parliament of key  IMO Conventions such as 2005 Protocols to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime  Navigation and its Protocol relating to Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf, the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks and the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships. Ultimately,”. The DG further called for an improved collaboration among all stakeholder agencies involved in the Maritime Industry.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister Honourable of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah was appreciative that Ghana as a member state is strictly adhering to and implementing all of the International Maritime Conventions by the International Maritime Organization. He linked the 2017 world maritime Day theme to that of 2016 and indicated Ghana’s preparedness at ensuring safe, secure maritime trade efficiency for the benefit of the entire nation. The success of which he attributed to combined effort in terms of security and best practices from all stakeholder agencies. “A well-coordinated, risk-based preventive strategy is critical to the success of port and port facility security regimes, and this is a vital element in IMO's efforts to connect ships, ports and people” this he said would act as the wheel that would move the industry to achieve the maximum economic wealth for the Nation..

The durbar was graced with a thrilling performance by the cadet team from the St Nicholas foundation, a private basic school in Tema. Also in attendance were the Maritime fraternity, and the East Legon Mantse and his entourage who represented the chiefs and people of Nungua.

 

 

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