At the 17th Extraordinary Session of MOWCA:  Let’s use low or zero carbon fuels  …in shipping in Africa as world makes strides in use of atternative fuels – Foreign Minister

 Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has urged the members of the Maritime Organ­isation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) to begin frank discus­sions on green shipping initiatives.

• Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey (middle) with the participants after the opening ceremony Photo: Michael Ayeh
• Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey (middle) with the participants after the opening ceremony Photo: Michael Ayeh

According to her, the use of alternative fuels with low or zero carbon in place of fossils fuels was fast becoming the new way of shipping and Africa cannot afford to be left behind as the world make these strides.

Ms Botchwey said this at the opening of the 17th Extraor­dinary Session of the General Assembly of MOWCA opened yesterday in Accra.

The three-day programme seeks to afford them the opportunity to discuss thorny issues confronting member states towards charting a new way forward.

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MOWCA was established May 1975, to serve as the regional and international body in charge of handling all maritime matters confronting member states.

The Minister stated that the Maritime Industry must be pre­pared for the cost ramifications of the impending transition to clean­er fuels to ship owners in case of increased rates.

She commended the member states for their immense role in maintaining maritime safety and environmental protection.

“Your enormous contribution to the maritime industry has greatly improved the economies of mem­bers as the most cost-effective way of transporting large amounts of goods and services and more need­ed to be done to ensure the growth of the industry,” she added

Ms Botchwey bemoan the low level of African representation on the Council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) which was greatly affecting deci­sion making at the international level.

She urged the organisation to adopt measures to make maritime education more affordable and ac­cessible in order to create more job opportunities in the industry.

The Minister charged mem­ber states to fulfill their financial obligations to enable the organi­sation deliver on its mandate and also urged for transparency and accountability in all dealings by the secretariat.

The Minister for Transport and Chairman of MOWCA, Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah in his opening remarks said, sea transport remains the most cost-effective way of transporting large amount of goods over long distances.

The sea ports he explained, also provides other benefits including exploration and exploitation of natural resources which are vital to the development of our econo­mies.

Mr Asiamah indicated that, the expansion of MOWCA was vital to the maritime industry in areas of security, prosperity and the socio-economic development of member states.

He urged the members to continue discharging their respon­sibilities effectively in a transpar­ent manner in order to fulfill the mandate of the organisation for the benefits of the people.

The Secretary-General of MOWCA, Dr Paul L. Adalikwu, said the re-birth of the organi­sation has brought major radical changes and innovations in the reins of leadership.

He said it is his vision to estab­lish a robust Maritime Develop­ment Bank to be located in Nigeria as well as to use the MOWCA platform to plant a lush and luxu­riant economic tree for the entire African continent.

Mr Adalikwu urged the members to take far reaching decisions that would transform the organisation into an enviable one.


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