By Kodjo Adams, GNA
Accra, March 25, GNA - Ghana and Denmark on Monday signed a Memoranda of Agreement to enhance e-navigation in the maritime sector and support implementation of international maritime regulations.
The agreement will build the capacities of four tug boat captains from the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority in advanced simulators in Denmark.
Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, the Minister of Transport and Mr Thomas Kofi Alonsi, the Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority signed the three-year contract on behalf of Ghana while Madam Tove Degnbol, the Ambassador of Denmark to Ghana signed for her country.
The Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) and the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) started a bilateral engagement which culminated in the signing of a Strategic Maritime Sector Co-operation between the two maritime administrations in 2017.
Mr Alonsi stated that with regard to compliance and enforcement, the GMA had benefited from a quality consultant from the DMA who came to Ghana to organise training workshops for various stakeholders.
The consultant also conducted a mock audit to prepare the country to undergo an audit by the IMO to determine the level of implementation of IMO Conventions in the country.
Mr Alonsi explained that these measures helped positioned the country to undergo the mandatory Member State Audit in January, 2017, adding that the outcome of the audit identified some non-conformities, which enabled GMA to develop a Corrective Action Plan.
“It is expected that under the agreement, DMA will continue to assist GMA to implement the Corrective Action Plan to address the non-conformities identified in the audit report,” she added.
This, he explained, would help the country to uphold the IMO standards by providing effective legislation to regulate the maritime sector and ensure the safety and security of the waters.
He said the regulatory enforcement track provided the opportunity for the two maritime administrations to exchange experiences on ship surveys and inspections with the view to enhance the competences of personnel of both Authorities.
He said the collaboration between the two Authorities had provided platform to share experiences with a view of building capacity of personnel in ship inspectors and port state control officers, improve compliance with IMO regulations and standards and strengthened information on safe navigation.
Mr Alonsi stated that Ghana was a party to the International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping for Seafarers (STCW).
Ghana is on the IMO “white list” of countries that have implemented fully the requirements of STCW Convention including the 2010 Manila Amendments.
He said the country had been successfully audited by the European Maritime Safety Agency and had signed MOU’s with some of the major European ship owning countries including Norway, Germany, and Malta.
Mr Asiamah said over 80 per cent of the Maritime business was handled by multinational companies, adding that the collaboration would help strengthen the sector for effectiveness and efficiency.
Madam Degnbol said Ghana was a long-lasting partner to Denmark and an important maritime hub to West Africa, adding that the collaboration would provide capacity building support to the new Tema Port Terminal and strengthen the bonds between the two seafaring nations.