Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority

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Jun 30, 2020

The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has been supported by the European Union through the EU WeCAPS project, with over half a million cedis worth of personal protective equipment to help the fight against COVID-19.

These PPEs include 5000 pcs surgical masks, 2000pcs KN95 Nose masks, 2000 disposable surgical gowns, face shields, gun thermometers, gloves. goggles, overalls, hand sanitizers and accompanying dispensers, scrubs and cover-alls.

These items will be used in the various GPHA health facilities as well as the operational and administrative areas of the Ports of Tema and Takoradi. Additionally, the Regional Maritime University also received a related donation of PPEs from the EU.

According to the EU Ambassador to Ghana, Diana Acconcia, WeCAPS which is funded by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak is ensuring that partner ports in West and Central African sub region are supported to manage and mitigate the impact of the coronavirus.

She said, this project is part of a wider policy of the European Union to support maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea area, which ensures that the capacity of Port Authorities in the West and Central African sub region is enhanced.

The Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Michael Luguje, praised the efforts of the European Union and their partners and expressed that this gesture would augment the Port Authority’s COVID-19 related activities and help ensure that Ghana’s Port environment is safe for business continuity.

The Pro Vice Chancellor of the Regional Maritime University, Jethro Brooks expressed the significance of the donation to the tertiary institution especially as it embarks on its continuity plans.

The Sevenlog Managing Director, Christophe Monmarché who was also the WeCAPS focal point applauded the EU and also commented on the positive impact the donation would have on the port community.

In addition to Tema and Takoradi ports, it was revealed that Doula, Cameroon, Brazzaville, and Pointe Noire of Congo, Abidjan and San Pedro of Cote D’Ivoire, Dakar, Senegal and Lome, Togo are other beneficiary ports of this project.

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  • July 02,2020

    Stakeholders in the transit sector including Ghana Shippers’ Authority, Ghana Highways Authority, Niger Shippers’ Council, Mali Shippers’ Council, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA)-Customs Division, Burkina Shippers’ Council, Burkina Chamber of Commerce, National Security and the State Insurance Company have reviewed the performance of transit trade for the first half of 2020.

    At a second quarter meeting of the Greater Accra Transit Shipper Committee held at the Ghana Shippers’ House issues such as the impact of COVID-19 on trade and challenges associated with the implementation of the newly introduced Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS), among others were discussed by the stakeholders.

    Challenges mentioned raised include, the return to the manual clearance of goods at the Ports, physical escorts of transit goods instead of tracking devices and its attendant general delays leading to demurrage and rent charges.

    A representative of the Mali Shippers’ Council appealed to the GSA to intervene on behalf of transit shippers whose goods have attracted demurrage and rent charges due to the inability of the new integrated customs management system to process declarations on time.

    The Head of Freight and Logistics of the GSA, Fred Asiedu-Dartey assured the stakeholders of the Authority’s preparedness to raise their concerns with the relevant authorities for redress.

    The Head of Inter-State Road Transit (ISRT) of the SIC, Anthony Osei Ntiamoah reported that 12,078 trucks carted transit cargo between January and March to Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Cote d’lvoire, Togo, Benin and Nigeria while the National Guarantor issued 8,672 transit bonds during the same period.

    The Transit Shipper Committee was established by the GSA to address challenges faced by shippers along Ghana’s transit corridor and also deepen Ghana’s trading relationship with land-locked nations of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.


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  • July 02,2020

    The Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) have renewed commitments to facilitate trade by air through regular inter-agency engagements for the benefit of exporters and importers.

    The two state agencies made the pledge when the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority, Benonita Bismarck and her team paid a courtesy call on the Aviation Authority.

    The visit formed part of the GSA’s strategic plan to deepen its relationship with stakeholders in the shipping and logistics industry with the overall objective of protecting and promoting the interests of shippers in Ghana.

    Benonita Bismarck stressed the need for the two organisations to strengthen their collaborative efforts to remove trade bottlenecks inhibiting trade facilitation.

    She said it was in furtherance to this commitment that the GSA established a Shipper Complaint and Support Unit at the Kotoka International Airport to readily resolve complaints of shippers.

    Receiving the delegation, the Deputy Director-General (Technical) of GCAA Ing. Charles Kraikue thanked the GSA for the visit and pledged his outfit’s commitment to work more closely together in the interest of stakeholders.

    He expressed his organisation’s willingness to provide the GSA with up-to-date trade statistics on air cargo volumes.

    Other issues discussed during the visit were challenges faced by shippers as a result of the implementation of the new Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS), the need for a centralised database for all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the registration of shippers among others.

    The GSA team also had meetings with officials of the Ghana Airport Company Limited and Air Ghana and discussed other trade facilitation issues at the airport and the way forward to addressing them.


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  • July 02,2020

    During the launch of the operational phase of the AfCFTA in Niamey, Niger on 7th July, 2019, AU Heads of State and governments decided that, 7th July of each year be designated as Africa Integration Day without it being a holiday, to commemorate the operationalization of the AfCFTA and popularise economic and social integration across the continent, as a lever of inclusive sustainable development.

    African countries were encouraged to come up with commemorative activities to observe and celebrate the achievements of AfCFTA in the preceding year.

    As we celebrate the maiden edition of the Africa Integration Day, Eye on Port engaged pundits assess how far the continent has come in its efforts to integrate and how member countries including Ghana are positioning themselves to harness the opportunities embedded in the continental free trade area agreement that has been signed by 54 out of 55 member countries and ratified by about 30 countries so far.

    A Technical Advisor on Multilateral, Regional and Bilateral Trade to Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, Anthony Kwasi Nyame-Baafi explained that Ghana as a small market nation on the continent delights in the integration agenda of the region.

    “Regional Integration is actually the way forward for our Social Economic Development as a nation.”

    He said even bigger markets are equally enthused about the economic integration of Africa due to the enormous opportunity that it presents.

    “We are anticipating that with the implementation of AfCFTA, it will actually boost Intra-African Trade for the benefit of Ghana and all other nations.”

    A Principal Policy Advisor to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Joseph Atta-Mensah explained that having a free trade area is the same as having a regional integration and that not enough policies had been put in place by the continent to trade among itself in the past.

    “You want to look at a point where you don’t want to stop exporting cocoa in its raw form. You want to be able to export chocolate rather and compete with the Belgians. Therefore, it requires you to see how you can make your chocolate very competitive in the global market place. And I think this is the opportunity.”

    While praising all efforts made by African leaders to bring the integration agenda to fruition, Joseph Atta-Mensah advised Ghana to take advantage and create a financial hub and focus on relying on manufacturing to remain competitive.

    “Since Trade is going to come, there will be movement of capital, there will be movement of equity, there will be movement of the financial market. So why don’t you look at making Ghana a financial hub?”

    National President of the Borderless Alliance, Ziad Hamoui said civil society is excited that the continent has moved from conversation on commitment to implementation and urged stakeholders to come together and build a resilient agenda.

    “I cannot personally believe that investors are trooping to Africa and there is no potential nor investment opportunities. There is an investment opportunity, there is a high quality product that value needs to be added, manufactured and produced in-house within the continent and then traded across.”

    He said there had been lack of clarity in previous regulations and therefore commended dispute regulation protocols instituted in AfCFTA.

    “There will be an established body similar to what the World Trade Organization has which may have the powers to sanction some of the countries that will flout regulations.”

    The policy advisor to UNECA highlighted lessons that can be drawn from sub-regional economic bodies like ECOWAS, SADC, ECAS, UEMOA.

    Anthony Nyame-Baafi highlighted structures and actions Ghana has taken to harness the potential of AfCFTA.

    He said COVID-19 had disrupted initiatives that were near their conclusive stages.

    On easing up border restrictions by member countries the pundits urged caution.


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  • July 02,2020

    The Ghana flagged Tuna Purse Seine vessel called Panofi Frontier that was hijacked by suspected Nigeria pirates in Benin waters on Wednesday at about 1400 hours has been located and guided to the Tema Port by the Ghana Navy.

    It is reported that there were 30-member crew on board the vessel, out of which 25 were Ghanaians and 5 were Koreans.

    6 crew members, 5 Koreans including captain of the vessel and a Ghanaian cook called Kofi Opuni on boarded the vessel are reported to have been abducted by the pirates and could still not be found at the time the vessel was brought to the Port of Tema by the Ghanaian Navy.

    According to the Ghana Navy, they met the vessel at the Ghana-Togo border and brought it to the Port of Tema anchorage on Thursday, 25th June, 2020.

    According to the Navy, apart from the 6 crew members who had been captured, the remaining 24 crew were safe and in Ghana but the Navy is still gathering detail information on the entire incidence.

    Security agencies at the Port of Tema including the Port Security, Marine Police, Navy and members of the Joint Port Control Units have all joined forces to investigate the incident to unravel the circumstances leading to the hijack.


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  • June 30,2020

    The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has been supported by the European Union through the EU WeCAPS project, with over half a million cedis worth of personal protective equipment to help the fight against COVID-19.

    These PPEs include 5000 pcs surgical masks, 2000pcs KN95 Nose masks, 2000 disposable surgical gowns, face shields, gun thermometers, gloves. goggles, overalls, hand sanitizers and accompanying dispensers, scrubs and cover-alls.

    These items will be used in the various GPHA health facilities as well as the operational and administrative areas of the Ports of Tema and Takoradi. Additionally, the Regional Maritime University also received a related donation of PPEs from the EU.

    According to the EU Ambassador to Ghana, Diana Acconcia, WeCAPS which is funded by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak is ensuring that partner ports in West and Central African sub region are supported to manage and mitigate the impact of the coronavirus.

    She said, this project is part of a wider policy of the European Union to support maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea area, which ensures that the capacity of Port Authorities in the West and Central African sub region is enhanced.

    The Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Michael Luguje, praised the efforts of the European Union and their partners and expressed that this gesture would augment the Port Authority’s COVID-19 related activities and help ensure that Ghana’s Port environment is safe for business continuity.

    The Pro Vice Chancellor of the Regional Maritime University, Jethro Brooks expressed the significance of the donation to the tertiary institution especially as it embarks on its continuity plans.

    The Sevenlog Managing Director, Christophe Monmarché who was also the WeCAPS focal point applauded the EU and also commented on the positive impact the donation would have on the port community.

    In addition to Tema and Takoradi ports, it was revealed that Doula, Cameroon, Brazzaville, and Pointe Noire of Congo, Abidjan and San Pedro of Cote D’Ivoire, Dakar, Senegal and Lome, Togo are other beneficiary ports of this project.


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  • June 04,2020

    The Minister of Railway Development, Joe Ghartey has revealed that the Ministry will be ordering over 30 standard gauge trains in June this year.

    According to him, the Ministry has already gotten approval of about 130million dollars’ worth of trains which will be purchased from a company in China.

    Speaking live on Eye on Port’s interactive programme on national television, Joe Ghartey stated that the technical committee of the Ministry is engaging their counterparts in China to agree on the specifications on the trains.

    “Once they agree on the specification we will sign the particulars of the contract and then we order,” he said.

    He said the about 35 trains including both standard and narrow gauge trains would be ordered in June 2020 and should arrive latest by 2021.

    “We need to make the order ahead of time for them to bring it, so if we order now it may not come this year, it will come in about 18months time. We are seeking advice from the Ghana Railway Company limited for them to tell us how many trains they will need,” he said.

    “If you look at our passenger trains, they are not sufficient for the demand in addition to the fact that post COVID-19, now we can’t park our trains so we need more passenger trains hence have ordered some from a South Africa company called Transnet,” he added.

    He revealed that the Ministry is purchasing more standard gauge for 2 reasons.

    “Standard gauge is what the African Union and ECOWAS have said that the entire Africa should use so that we can have train that will set off from Djibouti and come all the way to Ghana. In East Africa, they are doing cross country railway line. We have started in Ghana that is the Ghana-Burkina rail line,” he said.

    The Minister said about one hundred (100) old coaches were sold before he assumed office but he ensured that the rest that were left when he took office are rehabilitated and currently being operated.

    “The train that goes to Nsawam is a rehabilitated train. The passenger train that goes to Takoradi is also rehabilitated,” he said.

    The British, according to him left 947 kilometres of rail line but when he was appointed a minister what was left was barely 10% of that figure.

    “And even that 10% was barely working. The last time a train went to Kumasi to Accra was in 2001 on the eastern line. On the western line, it was 2004.” the Minister of Railways Development explained.


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  • June 04,2020

    The Minister of Railway Development, Joe Ghartey, has revealed that ongoing rail constructions which should have seen completion by end of August 2020, have halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as over 70 workers undertaking the construction tested positive for the virus.

    Speaking on the Role of Rail in Multimodal Connectivity and Economic Growth in Ghana, the Railway Minister revealed that COVID-19 has significantly affected all rail projects across the country.

    “The thing that disturbed us the most was that we were about to do the 300 meters across the Volta river and the infamous COVID-19 came and affected the project. When the President announced the lockdown he excluded railways and roads thankfully. But what happened was that over 70 workers in the camp got the virus,” he said.

    According to Joe Ghartey, who is also the Member of Parliament for Essikado-Ketan Constituency, although the affected patients have so far recovered, construction works is yet to resume on the various rail lines.

    “Thanks be to God all of them have recovered and the Ministry of health in the Eastern region have written that all have recovered and they will be getting to work soon,” he added.

    Again, he revealed that the government will give a cash injection to salvage the losses of the Ghana Railway Company Ltd who haven’t been paid for three months because they couldn’t make money from both working on the passenger and cargo lines due to the fact that they were also halted as a result of COVID-19.

    “All our work across the railway sector have been affected by the Covid-19. Ghana Railway Company revenue has gone down and they had to shut down their passenger services because they want to observe social distancing and they run at a massive loss,” the Railways Minister asserted.

    The Minister assured of his outfit’s commitment to ensure the over 20billion worth of railway projects being undertaken by government stays on course.

    He said because the national rail network is capital intensive, government has adopted different financial modules for different segments of the rail lines.

    These financial modules include one that government will directly invest its money in, as well as parts which would be on a build, operate and transfer investment module by foreign investors who would bring on board capital, human resource expertise, and modern technology.

    “What will happen in some of the lines is that government will be putting its money in various parts of the line while looking for strategic partners,” he stated.

    He revealed that the Ministry of Railways has arrived at a shortlist of 3 foreign investors where one would be selected in August to construct the rest of the eastern line to complete the lines from Mpakadan to Paga.

    The said line will connect Ghana with the Sahelian regions where a lot of goods are transited to and from Ghana. He said the masterplan of Government is also to extend both the central spine rail lines from Accra to Kumasi to Tamale and Paga to connect to the northern frontier and western rail lines in order to enjoy the full benefits of all the lines.

    Joe Ghartey, who is a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice asserted that government would make way for private participation for the branch lines that would connect to cities and the main national lines.

    Joe Ghartey disclosed that, the Government of Ghana ambitiously plans to provide light rail infrastructure within the inner city to solve the problem of heavy traffic in Accra and other traffic-laden areas.

    He stated that the year 2004 was the last time cocoa was carted on the western line and this has negatively impacted the cost of doing cocoa business.

    In order to address this, the Minister of Railway Development stated that the western lines which are currently being revamped will relieve the pressure suffered by roads which get constantly destroyed by heavy duty vehicles carrying goods.

    “One of the reasons why the Tarkwa and all the other roads are spoilt is because of the heavy trucks that are moving on the road.

    If we don’t build the railway to take away heavy trucks on the roads then the roads will get spoilt again,” he stressed.

    The Minister of Railway Development, Joe Ghartey denied assertions that hauliers who use the road corridors are sabotaging the construction of rail lines due the perceived threat to their businesses and opined that the railways would rather create alternative business for them.

    Joe Ghartey disclosed that consultations have been done with all local and traditional authorities in areas where constructions are undergoing and they have given their full commitment towards the successful completion of railway projects despite some socio-economic consequences that may be suffered in the interim.

    “The Chiefs have been wonderful from North to South. The minister for Local Government, the DCEs we have had excellent relationship with them,” he noted.


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  • June 04,2020

    The Minister of Railways Development, Joe Ghartey has given the strongest indication that workers of the Ghana Railway Company Limited who haven’t been paid for some three months now will in the coming week be paid.

    According to Joe Ghartey, who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Essikado-Ketan Constituency the 3 months’ salary arrears is as a result of the fact that the Ghana Manganese Company Limited stopped its operations.

    “Ghana Railway Company Limited earns it money from manganese and what happened was that the manganese company didn’t operate for some time,” he said.

    Speaking on Eye on Port interactive session on national television, he gave the assurance that government is giving a cash injection which will cover all the company’s expenses up to March 2021.

    The money, he said “will hit the account next week”.

    He entreated workers of the company to always endeavour to give off their best in the discharge of their duties.

    “It is not free money and I trust that they will respect government’s good intention for the sector and they will also improve their delivery and I have confidence in them,” he said.

    Joe Ghartey disclosed that the 97km rail line eastern route from Tema to Mpakadan is 60% complete.

    The percentage of completion, according to him, is based on the interim payment certificate that have been passed by the consultants of the project.

    “They have passed 24 Interim payment certificate so far and the certificate is based on the work that have been done so far,” he said.

    He revealed that ongoing rail constructions which should have seen completion by end of August 2020, have halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as over 70 workers undertaking the construction tested positive for the virus.

    Speaking on the on the Role of Rail in Multimodal Connectivity and Economic Growth in Ghana, the Railway Minister revealed that COVID-19 has significantly affected all rail projects across the country.

    The thing that disturbed us the most was that we were about to do the 300 meters across the Volta river and the infamous covid-19 came and affected the project.

    When the President announced the lockdown he excluded railways and roads thankfully. But what happened was that over 70 workers in the camp got the virus,” he said.


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  • June 04,2020

    The Minister of Railways Development, Hon. Joe Ghartey has disclosed that the 97km rail line eastern route from Tema to Mpakadan is 60% complete.

    The percentage of completion, according to him, is based on the interim payment certificate that have been passed by the consultants of the project.

    “They have passed 24 Interim payment certificate so far and the certificate is based on the work that have been done so far,” he said.

    The Minister said government is working assiduously to ensure that the eastern rail line is completed to achieve its intended purpose.

    Speaking on Eye on Port’s live interactive programme on Metro TV, he revealed each of the railway lines that are being constructed in the country are economically viable.

    “When you are thinking development, you don’t think short term view. You don’t think for now,” he said.

    Joe Ghartey who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Essikado-Ketan also assured workers of the Ghana Railway Company Limited who haven’t been paid for some months now that they will soon be paid.

    “Ghana Railway Company Limited earns it money from manganese and what happened was that the manganese company didn’t operate for some time. Government is giving a cash injection which will cover all the company’s expenses up to next year March. The money will hit the account next week,” he assured.

    He entreated workers of the company to always endeavour to give off their best in the discharge of their duties.

    “It is not free money and I trust that they will respect government’s good intension for the sector and they will also improve their delivery and I have confidence in them,” he said.

    The Minister revealed that several investors have expressed interest in the Aflao to Elubo rail line.

    Joe Ghartey said the longest train in the world is run by Transnet in South Africa which is 4kilometers and added that the Ghana Railway Company Ltd, has signed a contract with Transnet to pull 50% of manganese through rail.

    “So when we came (to power) we didn’t fall asleep, we entered into a contract with Ghana Manganese and said we will rehabilitate the narrow gauge line and use it to pull manganese. In December last year, Ghana Railway Company Limited signed a contract with Transnet to pull 50% of the manganese through rail,” he hinted.


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  • May 27,2020

    The Chief Executive Officer of the International Maritime Hospital, Dr. Yaw Oppong has advised the general public to accept the possibilities of living with the coronavirus, hence, the need for modifying lifestyles.

    “COVID-19, whether we like it or not for some foreseeable future is here to stay. It is up to us to modify our lifestyles to live with it until a cure is found,” he recommended.

    Speaking on Eye on Port’s panel discussion on the Role of International Maritime Health Facilities in Fighting Public Health Threats like COVID-19, the Head of IMaH, stated that the search for a suitable vaccine for the new coronavirus might take longer than some anticipate.

    “We shouldn’t be too hopeful that by next year a vaccine would be found. At least now about 13 vaccines are undergoing clinical trials, but there are no guarantees,” he cautioned.

    He continued to say that due to the uncertainty associated with anticipating an end to this public health crisis, socio economic life would have to resume but with caution.

    “Look at HIV, it has been around for some time now. Ebola goes and comes. If we get a vaccine that is a win for us, but we may not get one. We can also not be in lockdown forever. We would have to live our lives, but redefine the level of lives we live,” he opined.

    Dr. Oppong also opined that the slower rate of transmission in Africa compared to that of the temperate zones, could be attributed to the African weather condition, saying that research has proven that the virus does not survive long in hotter temperatures.

    He, however, cautioned Ghanaians not to be complacent with the coronavirus as it continues to take lives but rather encouraged the continued commitment to precautionary measures instituted by health authorities.

    “Continue to wash hands regularly, use the hand sanitizers, wear the recommended face masks, and keep our social distancing. We should also take care of ourselves by eating well, exercising, and avoiding stress to boost our immune” he urged.

    The Head of Clinical Services at the International Maritime Hospital, Dr. Helen Tettey urged the public to stay updated with education on coronavirus in order not to miss out on vital information that may emerge.

    “In the midst of all this, there are important discoveries that are being made and so when you stop following, you can miss out especially for clinicians. There could be something in there that could be useful,” she said.

    Dr. Helen Tettey, who is also the Consultant Anaesthesiologist dismissed the claim by some sections of the public that the wearing of face masks can cause hypoxia.

    “In theatre we wear face masks, and that is the norm and sometimes we wear it conducting surgeries for 10-14 hours, it doesn’t affect you. If what they are saying is true, then we should have been affected. Yet, we are here, unaffected,” she expressed.

    She, therefore, called for continued wearing of the face masks in public spaces to reduce the spread of the virus, even though she could sympathize with the discomfort associated with it.

    “The benefits far outweigh the risks so I would ask everyone to wear their face masks,” she implored.

    Dr. Tettey also called for improve social distancing among the citizenry as she lamented that, it is the main precautionary measure that has been neglected within the country.

    Yet, the Head of IMaH, Dr. Sylvester Yaw Oppong, said despite the several socio-economic challenges that have emerged due to the coronavirus pandemic, one of the positive takeaways from the current circumstances is the inculcation of sobriety in human activity and hoped that value carries on, even after the pandemic.

    “It is letting us become sober and return to human values, and eliminating the unnecessary things. And I’m even hoping that after COVID-19, funerals for example would be scaled down,” he expressed.


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