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Business News of Friday, 26 June 2015

Source: B&FT

Transport Ministry moves to boost shipping industry

Minister of Transport Dzifa Aku Ativor has said the ministry is working toward getting a policy that will compel shipping companies to introduce a training regime that ensures their local staff gain professional qualifications in shipping.

She said for the shipping or maritime industry to thrive, there is a need for proper training and education for on-shore and sea-going maritime professionals to sustain economic growth. She said with the Regional Maritime University (RMU) -- an international tertiary institution dedicated to the

consistent development of human capital in the maritime industry -- government is obliged under the International Maritime Organisation to ensure a sustainable maritime development system to strengthen the development of maritime professional careers and promote fellowships for maritime industry professionals.

The Minister of Transport made this known in a speech read on her behalf by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority, Dr. Kofi Mbiah, at the 5th anniversary of the West Africa-branch Institution of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS), in Tema.

The ICS is the professional body for all members of the commercial shipping industry representing shipbrokers, ship managers and agents, and other maritime practitioners recognised internationally as a measure of professionalism and a significant requirement for employment and promotion in the shipping business worldwide.

ICS is committed to fulfilling its mission of setting the highest standards of professional service through the shipping industry worldwide through education.

The anniversary under the chairmanship of the immediate retired Deputy CEO of the Ghana Shippers Authority, Emmanuel Martey, was on the theme ‘Promoting Professionalism in the Shipping Industry, the Role of the ICS’ and was graced by strong delegations from Nigeria who are members and fellows of the ICS, Oil Marine Agencies (OMA), and players from Ghana’s shipping industry.

The institute was founded in 1911 and awarded a Royal Charter in 1920, headquartered in London with 25 branches across the globe.

The Minister of Transport further stated that as Ghana embarks on infrastructural expansion at its ports, putting in place the right infrastructure and state-of-the-art equipment is by no means enough; it is also crucially important to have a commensurate improvement in the availability of qualified and professional staff to man them.

"This correlation brings to the fore need for the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers to intensify its efforts so that the installed facilities and capacities yield the appropriate dividends for our development," she added

She called for a close collaboration between the Institution of Chartered Shipbrokers and the Regional Maritime University (RMU) with a view to assisting students of the Regional Maritime University in the attainment of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers’ qualifications and consequently membership along with their current programmes.

She urged the institution to continue pursuing vigorous membership drives among employees of Ship owners, Ship Managers, Ship Agents, Freight Forwarders, Port Authorities, Insurance Brokers and other maritime organisations within the sub-region.

This, according to her, will help curb operational challenges at the port.

President of the West African branch of the institution, Fred Asiedu Dartey, in an interview with the B& FT said if government implements the policy it will ensure the training of local people to broaden their knowledge on the commercial aspect of shipping.

He indicated that currently the cost of training students is expensive, as registration and examination fees are paid in pounds (£) and is a major challenge for students; therefore, government’s intervention would be of great support, particularly to the local people.

Membership may be granted to interested persons who successively complete seven out of 17 intensive subjects of professional qualifying examinations, and it is important to be able get people who are willing and committed to serious study.

The institute provides a wide spectrum of subjects that cover the full range of the shipping industry: for instance liner trade; logistics and multi-modal transport; legal principles of shipping; ship operation and management; and economics of sea transport among.

"It is important for operators in the maritime industry to acquire these skills to help them make impacts in the industry, and it is all about bringing to the doorsteps of maritime players relevant education that will drive their personal and individual careers, as well as their various companies, so that the industry can thrive," he said.

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