The Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) has signed a three-year maritime cooperation agreement with the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) to support implementation of international maritime regulations in Ghana.
The agreement, which commences the Phase II of the strategic sector collaboration between the two institutions, would also ensure the training of tug boat captains in advance, simulators in Denmark and enhance e-navigation.
It was signed by the Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, along with the Director General of the GMA, Thomas Kofi Alonsi and the Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority, Andreas Nordseth in the presence of Tove Degnbol, Ambassador of Denmark to Ghana, in Accra yesterday.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr Alonsi said that the cooperation which started in 2017 focused on support to the GMA to implement and enforce regulations adopted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the United Nations specialised agency responsible for regulating international shipping.
It also covered the introduction of e-navigation platform for the dissemination of maritime safety information to mariners and improving safe navigation and efficient flow of trade at the Tema Port by training pilots of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, he stated.
Following that, he said the DMA conducted mock audits to prepare Ghana to undergo the IMO Mandatory Member State audit in 2017 by the IMO to determine the level of implementation of IMO conventions in the country.
Additionally, Mr Alonsi noted that the regulatory enforcement track provided the opportunity for the two institutions to exchange experiences on ship surveys and inspections to improve the competencies of personnel of both the GMA and DMA.
“The sector cooperation has provided the platform to share experiences to build capacity of ship inspectors and port state control officers, improve in the level of compliance with IMO regulations and standards and also improve the use of digital tools to disseminate information to mariners for safe navigation in Ghanaian waters through the e-navigational platform,” he stated.
The cooperation, he said had also created the avenue for the engagement of Ghana’s pool of skilful seafarers, following the signing of a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Ghana and Denmark for the mutual recognition of seafarer certificates.
Mr Nordseth stated that the DMA would support the GMA in the implementation of the corrective action plan developed to address the identified non-conformities from the audit to ensure that Ghana upholds the IMO standards by providing effective legislation to regulate the maritime sector for safe and secured waters.
“We are very pleased to have gained so much from the maritime cooperation between Denmark and Ghana. With the continuation of the cooperation, we will work even more closely together,” he added.
Ms Degnbol said Ghana was a long-lasting partner country to Denmark and an important maritime hub to West Africa.
“Continuing this maritime collaboration will provide capacity building support to the new Tema Port Terminal and further strengthen the bonds between our two seafaring nations,” she added.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS