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Business News of Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Source: Eye on Port

MOWCA chairman calls for strengthened collaboration among member states

Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah

Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, has expressed much zeal to harness available opportunities for growth and stability in the maritime industry of West and Central Africa.

Kwaku Ofori Asiamah who is now the Chairman of the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa, (MOWCA), said he is committed to ensuring that, more than ever before, member countries of the organisation work together towards the creation of policies and action plans to improve the industry.

Ghana’s Minister for Transport was elected during the 8th Session of the Bureau of Ministers and 15th Ordinary Session of the General Assembly of MOWCA in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo in July 2021.

Kwaku Ofori Asiamah will oversee the affairs of the organisation made up of 25 countries in West and Central Africa for the next two years.

Speaking on the Eye on Port program, the chairman of MOWCA said key on his agenda is garnering the various member countries to consolidate skills and resources to fight the spate of maritime insecurity in the region.

Mr. Asiamah expressed that, “before I am leaving office, I’d like to see that the Gulf of Guinea has become safe, with piracy and other illegal activities reducing, insurance premium has come down, and cost of business here has drastically reduced as a result.”

He said, to improve resources available for the everyday running of Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa, he has begun embarking on diplomatic calls to various member countries to live up to their financial obligations to the organisation.

He revealed that plans exist for the establishment of a dedicated development bank for the maritime industry of West and Central Africa to see to financing of maritime infrastructure.

Kwaku Ofori Asiamah also mentioned that improving the IT infrastructure at the disposal of the MOWCA Secretariat is also core to his objectives.

He, however, called for the revision of the rules of procedure adopted by the organisation in the 70s so that the organization’s processes are in tandem with modern standards in the industry.

The Minister touched on the unfortunate incidence of Nigeria’s withdrawal from the organisation during the 15th General Assembly of MOWCA, and disclosed that his outfit is in talks to resolve Nigeria’s dissatisfaction.

Mr. Asiamah said, “the General Assembly has given me six months to come out with the criteria for which the Secretary-General would be elected and I would use diplomacy to deal with the challenges associated.”

He also revealed that the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa is assessing the modalities for contributions of member states to arrive at standardized rates in future.

The Chairman of MOWCA said the ultimate aim shared among the leadership of the organisation is to transform this subregional organisation into an arm of the African Union so as to promote operationalization of action plans and policies.