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The Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, has tasked the newly inaugurated board of the Ghana Maritime Authority,GMA, to drive improvements within the country’s ports to enable Ghana become the transportation hub for the West African sub region.

The Maritime Sector and for that matter Ghana’s Port is the main gateway for international trade, with overwhelming effect and potential for boosting economic and GDP growth.

Speaking during the inauguration of the 12 member board for the Ghana Maritime Authority, and the 14 member board of the Ghana Shippers Authority Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, urged the Ghana Maritime Authority board must ensure the country’s maritime sector is business friendly by dealing with long standing issues such as piracy, unregulated fishing activities and also see to the removal of tree stamps along the Volta Lake.

“Presence of tree stamps and other obstacles impeding safe notification of the Volta Lake is another challenge. We need to deal with it. Absence of adequate regulations for inner water ways is a matter of concern. Unchartered navigational fare way on the Volta Lake resulting in frequent accidents on the lakes, piracy, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Robbery, illegal pumping, ship to ship transfer, child trafficking, pollution, tourism, destruction to trade or freedom of navigation, trans national crime etc. etc. are issues happening in the gulf of guinea today. This calls for a deeper collaboration between Ghana Maritime Authority in and outside Ghana,” he said.

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“It is imperative that all stakeholders work to reduce transaction cost, facilitate trade and position the ports to become a hub for the West African sub region, particularly within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area,” he added.

He also urged the 14 member board of the Ghana Shippers Authority to streamline laws within the business community which will deal with the high the high arbitrary charges in the shipping industry.

Chairman of the newly inaugurated 12-member the Ghana Maritime Authority Board is Robert Kingsford Kutin Jnr.

Some of the members are Thomas Alonsi, Susan Dilys Kwakye, Magaret Campbell, Irene Odokai Messiba, Michael Arthur-Dadzie, and Real Admiral Issah Adam Yakubu among others.

Chairman of the Ghana Shippers Authority is Stella Wilson. Some of the members of the GSA include Kwame Asamoah Adam, Benonita Bismarck, Patrick Nimo and Lawrencia Awuah.

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