The Ghana Shippers Authority in collaboration with the Union of African Shippers Councils (UASC) has held the 8th African Shippers Day at the Ghana Shippers House in Accra.
Welcoming participants from 18 African member countries of the Union of African Shippers Councils, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority, Benonita Bismark, said she is optimistic the conference will present an opportunity to dialogue on challenges confronting the maritime industry on the corridor and they can be addressed to facilitate Trade and impact positively on Africa’s Industrialization drive.
"The commitment and resilience of shippers in Africa in the face of challenges and problems inherent in their international trade processes across the region cannot be overemphasized. These challenges which increase the time and cost of doing business at our ports include the multiplicity of agencies in the cargo clearance process, ineffective risk management systems, unprofessionalism of some custom house agents, and insincerity of some shippers among others", she expressed.
Acting Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Paul AsareAnsah, assured that Ghana’s Port Authority is committed to working harmoniously with Shippers to elevate the sea trade with the aim of making Africans the beneficiaries.
"We have to get back together to enhance efficiency of the maritime industry and to ensure that bottlenecks that hamper smooth movement of goods across the various corridors are removed", Paul Ansah said.
The Acting Director General of Ghana Maritime Authority said Ghana will continue to ensure safety in the Ghanaian maritime landscape.
Transport Minister KwakuOforiAsiama stated that, government’s industrialization drive coincided with Ghana’s ratification of the WTO-Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) earlier this year and therefore creates opportunity to improve commerce and multilateral trade system as a whole.
"The continent is indeed endowed with enormous resources. There is the need to hasten industrialization to enable us benefit fully from the resources available to us. This process of industrialization must be supported by the implementation of effective trade facilitation measures to transform these economies in the continent and create jobs for growing, working youth and ultimately ensure an accelerated socio-economic growth of our continent", the Minister of Transport affirmed positively.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremanteng who spoke on behalf of the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, expressed that in 2012, the assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union agreed on a roadmap for the establishment of a Continental Free Trade and Ghana is committed to upholding the CFTA to achieve a comprehensive and mutually beneficial trade agreement among Member States of the African Union.
"We all believe that it is the operators in the maritime industry that would make the connection between industrialization and trade facilitation effective. Conceptually, it is the maritime industry that drives global trade and not vice versa. That is why you would find out that the Port of Rotterdam for example, is one of the global hubs for the oil industry", the Minister of Trade noted firmly.