THE West Africa branch of the Institute of Chartered Ship-brokers (ICS), has called for the injection of professionalism into the operations of the maritime industry in the sub-region.
Mr. Fred Asiedu-Dartey, President of the ICS West Africa noted that the promotion of professionalism and acceptable international standards within the shipping industry in the West African sub-region remains critical for the transformation of the sector.
“Anyone who wishes to know the basics of shipping operations, either from a bank or other financial institutions, legal firms, insurance companies or government organisations must work with professionals in the industry,” Mr Asiedu-Dartey said in Accra.
Mr. Asiedu-Dartey told Ghana News Agency in an interview after the fifth anniversary commemoration of the West Africa branch of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers in Accra.
He explained that the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers is the professional body for all members of the commercial shipping industry representing shipbrokers, ship managers, agents and other maritime practitioners.
He said the ICS seeks to provide the highest standards of professional service to the shipping industry worldwide through education and the West Africa branch also stands to inject global standards into operations in the sub-region.
Mr. Asiedu-Dartey who is also the Public Affairs Manager of Ghana Shippers Authority, said the ICS is internationally recognised as a mark of professionalism and a significant requirement for employment and promotion in the shipping business worldwide.
“This is derived from the long held principle that integrity, knowledge and trust are indispensable keys to professionalism,” he said.
Speaking on the achievements of the West Africa branch of ICS, Mr Asiedu-Dartey identified the establishment of strong local contacts with the shipping industry, growth of membership and the signing of a Memoranda of Understanding with the Regional Maritime University and the University of Cape Coast in 2013 to develop academic and educational collaborations.
He noted that through the instrumentality of West Africa branch of the ICS, the University of Cape Coast has adopted three of the ICS subjects into the degree curriculum of its Transport Department starting 2015/16 academic year.
The subjects are; Multimodal Transport and Logistics, Port and Terminal Management, and Economics of Sea Transport and International Trade Challenges.
Mr. Asiedu-Dartey noted that the Professional Qualifying Examinations still remains the main pathway to membership with the ICS.
“I will therefore on this occasion wish to make a clarion call to young employees with limited knowledge of the shipping industry, people working in accounts or technical departments who wish to broaden their knowledge of the commercial aspects of shipping, seafarers wishing for a more in-depth appreciation of commercial decisions and employees in shipping who require a brush-up with knowledge of the industry to apply.”
The International Chairman of the ICS, Captain Richard Brook-Hart, as well as member and fellows of ICS from the sub-region participated in the anniversary.
The ICS was founded in 1911 and awarded a Royal Charter in 1920 is headquartered in London.
In 1984, a supplementary Royal Charter was granted and membership was opened to citizens of any country in the world, consequently, the institute now has 25 branches across the globe, which is committed to fulfil its mission.
Membership may be granted to those who successfully complete professional qualifying examinations consisting seven subject papers out of 17.
In the early 1990s Ghana was designated as an ICS examination centre hitherto candidates had to go to London to sit for the examinations.
The West Africa branch of the Institute was inaugurated in Ghana in April 2010.