Government must initiate steps to revive the defunct Black Star Shipping Line to create employment for the youth in the country, former Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Nii Armah Ashitey, has suggested.
He said the establishment of local shipping line had become necessary to help absorb the graduates and trainees of the Regional Maritime University (RMU).
Mr Ashitey made the call in an interview with the Ghanaians Times when he hosted delegates from the Ethiopian Shipping Lines in Accra on Thursday.
The two officials from the Ethiopian Shipping Lines were in the country to discuss with the RMU and the Ghana Maritime Authority for the renewal of certificate of Competency of Ethiopian Seafarers who were trained at the University.
Seafarers are enjoined to renew their certification every five years.
The team as part of their visit to Ghana also visited the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to acquaint themselves with the operations at the Port.
Mr Ashitey who is an agent of the Ethiopian Shipping Lines, said most graduates could not secure employment locally and had to rely on other jurisdictions for jobs due to the lack of a local shipping line.
He emphasised that, the creation of a local shipping line would help attract more revenue to the state to improve the country’s precarious financial conditions.
The legal practitioner and a trade unionist also entreated the RMU to position itself to attract more students from the sub-region for its Seafaring course.
He said the RMU if well placed would attract more students to increase its student’s base and rake in revenue and boost its finances.
According to him, Ghana was the main centre for the training and certification of seafarers in the African sub-region.
That, he said offered opportunity for the RMU to get more students from the sub-region.
“Most of the seafarers working for the various shipping lines in Africa and the world are trained in Ghana,” he added.
The Former Minister indicated that Ethiopians had relied on Ghana for the past 30 years for the training and certification of its seafarers and was now establishing its Maritime University, but would need the support of the RMU.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Shipping Lines, Mr Wondwiosen Kassa Assefa in his remarks commended the RMU, Ghana Maritime Authority and Ghana Ports and Habour Authority for their warm reception.
He also paid glowing tribute to the RMU for the immense role it had played in training Ethiopian seafarers for the past 30 years.
Mr Assefa pledged his organisation`s commitment to continue to partner the RMU, Ghana Maritime Authority in the training and certification of Ethiopian seafarers.
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR