Mr Jonathan Pace, an official of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), says promoting ocean management is central to Ghana’s development in an environment characterised by technological progress and globalisation.
He recounted that in 2008, Ghana adopted a National Transport Policy (NTP 2008), which was currently under review to take stock of development in the transport sector and enhance its scope.
Mr Pace, the Acting Chief, Subdivision for Programme Management and Coordination Technical Corporation, IMO, said the NTP was the main policy document that prescribed the policy direction of the transport sector as a whole.
As such, its maritime related goals and objectives should provide the basis for a national maritime transport policy (NMTP) and any related strategy.
Mr Pace said this on Wednesday at the opening of a three-day National Maritime Transport Policy Workshop in Accra.
It was organised by the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), in collaboration with the IMO.
It is to raise awareness on the importance of the NMTP as a good governance practice by engaging the various stakeholders in a meaningful dialogue with a view of laying the basis for developing the policy.
“A sustainable maritime transport system reflecting and balancing the interest of stakeholders can only be achieved by a carefully devised and executed maritime transport policy,” he said.
“NMTPs are also complimentary to the concept of the Blue Economy and should be considered as a mechanism to realise sustainable economic development based around an ocean-based economy.”
Mr Pace said Ghana, an IMO member state since 1959, was not only an active member state in the workings of the organisation but also an active participant in the Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP).
He said whilst it is primarily aimed at building the capacities of the country to sustainably manage the maritime sector, IMO’s technical cooperation assistance to Ghana, inter alia, aimed at ensuring safety, security and environmental protection.
The IMO, in cooperation with the World Maritime University (WMU), its premier global maritime training institution, had embarked on an initiative to assist IMO member states to develop the policies.
Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, the Minister of Transport, in a speech read on his behalf, said the maritime sector had been a major contributor to Ghana’s development agenda, and its international trade relations.
He said Ghana had recently reviewed her National Transport Policy developed in 2008, which includes the National Maritime Law, adding that the policy had been reviewed in line with international best practices.
Mr Daniel Appianin, Deputy Director-General, GMA, said; “Maritime transportation is a prime mover of trade and is also considered to be the most cost-effective transport option, worldwide.”