GMA News


Sep 26, 2018

Today is world’s Maritime Day, a day set aside by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to focus attention on the significance of the maritime industry and its contribution to the global economy.

The IMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating International Shipping. It deals with and coordinates all maritime related issues ranging from safety, security and environmental concerns to the training standards of seafarers.

Over the years the IMO has built up an enviable track record for developing and adopting new International Conventions aimed at ensuring that international shipping keeps up to date with technical and technological advances  in safety, whilst addressing the ever increasing number of environmental  and security challenges.

The world Maritime Day is marked around the world with series of events under a theme chosen by the IMO to reflect aspects of its work. The theme for this year’s celebration is “IMO 70: Our Heritage – Better Shipping for a Better Future”. This year the IMO celebrates 70 years since the adoption of the treaty establishing it in 1948. The theme was chosen to provide the opportunity to take stock of the shipping industry and address current and future challenges for maritime transport to maintain and strengthen its contribution towards sustainable growth.

Shipping plays a vital role in world trade and is the backbone of the world economy. Without maritime transport, the world would not be as prosperous as it is today and many countries would not be able to participate in world trade.

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) around 80 percent of global trade by volume and over 70 percent of global trade by value are carried through the sea and handled by ports through shipping.  

Seaborne trade continues to expand, bringing benefits for consumers across the world through competitive freight costs. Today there are over 50,000 merchant ships trading internationally, transporting every kind of cargo. The world fleet is registered in over 150 nations, and crewed by over 1.5 million seafarers of virtually every nationality.  

In recent times maritime security has been a major concern for the global maritime industry and lots of efforts have been devoted to these security concerns particularly with regards to the issues relating to Piracy, armed robbery against ships, prevention of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and other illicit activities at sea.

The IMO has been at the forefront in working with coastal states to develop capacity and enhance regional cooperation in dealing with maritime security concerns.

As a country that depends heavily on the maritime industry for its socio-economic development, Ghana has a responsibility to ensure the safety and security of her maritime domain in order to create the requisite environment to protect its international seaborne trade and facilitate the exploitation of its marine resources such as oil and gas to ensure a vibrant and sustainable maritime sector.

It is against this backdrop that the Ghana Maritime Authority, the focal agency in Ghana for the implementation of the IMO standards has installed a Vessel Traffic Management Information System (VTMIS) to provide comprehensive 24/7 surveillance and monitoring of our maritime domain with a view to securing our waters against unlawful activities and enforce our maritime laws.

Additionally as a regulatory body the Ghana Maritime Authority’s role is to ensure that adequate legislation are in place for the sustainable development of the maritime industry. Over the past few years, a number of legislative initiatives have been taken and the Authority is currently working to introduce a Cabotage Regulation that will enhance the reservation of trading activities in Ghanaian waters for Ghanaian citizens.

The Ghana Maritime Authority recognizes the contribution of the various stakeholders in the maritime industry and will continue to collaborate with them to ensure sustainable development of the maritime industry.

On the occasion of World Maritime Day, the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) extends it gratitude to all stakeholders of the Maritime and Shipping Community. The GMA appreciates the significant contribution made by all stakeholders in developing the maritime industry in Ghana and in particular for promoting IMO’s mission of safe, secure, environmentally sound and efficient shipping.  

The Ghana Maritime Authority will continue to collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure the growth and sustainable development in the maritime industry.   

On the occasion of the World Maritime Day celebration, we call on Maritime stakeholders and all industry players to join hands in taking a giant leap for a greater purpose.

Ayeekoo to all Mariners

  Kwame Owusu

Director General


Ghana Maritime Authority


Ministries Accra



Modibo Keita Close

East Ridge

Tel: 0302-662122

Digital Address: GA-079-90-20




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