SGI, STAKEHOLDRS IN MARITIME CONFER

Mr. Kwame Owusu(right) addressing the meeting. Photo;Mercy Amparbeng

Mr. Kwame Owusu(right) addressing the meeting. Photo;Mercy Amparbeng

In a bid to have a comprehensive national document on maritime security, the Security Governance Initiative (SGI) with its United State counterparts have paid  working visits to various stakeholders within the maritime chain.

The SGI together with its foreign counterparts visited the Ministry of National Security, the Naval Headquarters, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Ghana Maritime Authority in order to seek for their input into the national document through the collaborative efforts of all the stakeholders.

The Security Governance Initiative (SGI) is a bilateral engagement with the United States of America (USA) and was signed in February 2016.

Speaking during a visit to the Ghana Maritime Authority in Accra, the National Coordinator at the SGI National Secretariat, Mr Osei Bonsu Dickson, said the visits were to enable the team bring the various agencies together to collaborate and fashion out a maritime strategy for Ghana.

He said the team would also need the input of experts within the maritime chain as well as approval of cabinet to come out with a good document for Ghanaians.

According to him, over the last 60 years, Ghana do not have a written national integrated maritime strategy, even though it was part of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which has the ECOWAS integrated maritime strategy.

 

Mr Dickson explained that, the maritime area was dominated by instruments, laws, policies, guidelines and regulations and were not existing in codified forms adding that there was the need to look at individual agencies and draw Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for them.

He said during the visits, the stakeholders indicated that the document should point out clear directions for them to chart and also get the fishermen, fisher folks as well as those in the fishing industry understand their roles.

Mr Dickson said there were countries competing with Ghana when it comes to the sea but such countries do not enjoy the political stability being enjoyed in Ghana.

He stated that Ghana could make a difference in the maritime area due to the political stability currently being experienced.

 

Mr  Dickson said in order to achieve their mandate, the secretariat would need resources to assist its operations.

The Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), Mr Kwame Owusu said in preparation of the document, there was the need for a clear focus and support of all stakeholders in the maritime industry.

He said when stakeholders are involved it would help them have confidence in the document and assured them that it would be for their benefit.

 

According to him, the various agencies visited by the team was necessary because “you will need the political will to domesticate it and also ensure that it will be a working document.”

 

Mr Owusu pledged his outfit’s support adding the GMA would live up to expectations and give every information needed to prepare before the  document comes out.

BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU

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