Port workers receive training in maritime security

THIRTY personnel with security related duties at the country’s ports yesterday began a five-day training in Accra, aimed at enhancing their capacity in maritime security.

Participants were drawn from the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), Ship Owners and Agents Association (SOAA) and the Regional Maritime University (RMU).

The training is a requirement of maritime security instruments that enjoin ships and ports facilities to institute measures to avert maritime threats that could hamper safety operations.

These instruments are the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention and the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPFS) code, which Ghana is subjected to.

Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) is facilitating the training being conducted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) through its Global Maritime Security Integrated Technical Cooperation programme (ITCP).

Addressing the participants at the opening of the workshop, GMA Director General, Thomas Alonsi, said maritime security was important because the ports were the avenues for exports and imports that sustain the economy.

The training, he said, would improve the ability of the personnel to comply with international rules and standards relating to maritime security, and also ensure effective implementation of the aforementioned conventions.

The implementation of the ISPS code is a key indicator of an effective port security measure adding that GMA appreciated support from IMO and would sustain it to help GMA to fulfil its obligations and build capacity.

Mourad Ghorbel, a Technical Officer of Maritime Security facilitation of IMO, said maritime security was important in the face of piracy and armed robbery against ships, drug trafficking amongst others maritime crime in other regions.

“For that, we need to always get better at protecting port facilities as well as ships-through the application of the IMO Special measures to enhance maritime security, and by addressing all of these other illicit activities,” he said.

He was hopeful that the worship would be an opportunity for participants to improve their knowledge and acquire the needed skills to implement all maritime security protocol.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

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