The International Maritime Organization in partnership with the Ghana Maritime Authority has organised a self-auditing training exercise and workshop on port facilities under the auspices of the Ministry of Transport.
The workshop was aimed at equipping port agencies with the required skills of the International Shipping and Port Security code for carrying out Port Security Self-Auditing.
With the country poised to revolutionize its industrial sector and the Port being a focal unit to propel this development agenda, it has been critical for the ports of Ghana to fortify its safety and security capacity to enable a smooth transitioning.
Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, expressed Ghana’s ports commitment to keeping with the ISPS code in enhancing security and safety in the ports and its facilities.
He further acknowledged the need for these engagements with IMO that would enable the development of effective Port Security procedures that in turn would improve the national capacity to self-audit.
“Ghana has domesticated the international ship and port facilities security code with the enactment of the Ghana maritime security Act, Act 675 as far back as 2004. We have support from the IMO, Government of the United Nations, the Government of the United States of America, and other development partners, a lot of improvement has been achieved in enhancing safety and security in our ports and port facilities as required by the ISPS code,” the Minister said.
The Director General of Ghana Maritime Authority, Kwame Owusu noted that the workshop would enable participants to acquire the requisite knowledge which is directly related to the ISPS code and other maritime security related instruments.
“It is important to know that effective implementation of Port facilitation security measures is a continual responsibility of contracting states. The IMO has therefore suggested that contracting governments self-assess their processes post implementation, and thereafter at least on a 5 yearly basis and port facilities self-assess their performance annually”.
Captain Dallas Eric Laryea, the IMO Regional Coordinator for West and Central Africa, said, it is in the light of reaching a safe and secure maritime atmosphere as part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, that IMO is putting in place measures that project the international maritime scene as such.
He said, “The ability of states to promote secure operating basis for maritime trade is therefore essential to their own development and for the global economy”.