The Minister for Transport, hon. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, has said the overall objective of Regionalization is to promote regional co-operation in the maritime industry focusing on training to ensure sustained growth and development. `
He said, the survival of economies to a large extent depends on the efficiency and effectiveness of maritime transport, therefore, they had to pave a way for the Regional Maritime University to take advantage of the opportunities that abound within the maritime sector.
Hon. Ofori Asiamah noted, the government of Ghana remains committed to strengthening its collaboration with Member states within the Maritime Organization of West and Central Africa, (MOWCA), to ensure there was enough technical and managerial capacity within the maritime industry.
“It is important that the manpower requirement and skill set to enable us effectively compete at the local, Regional and International level is taken seriously”, the Minister added.
He stated, they must take a critical look at the conditions of Service and the Institutional Documentation of the Regional Maritime University (RMU). He mentioned, in his view, these documentations need to be reviewed in line with the changing dynamisms to give a new lease of life to the University.
The Minister disclosed these at the 26th Meeting of the Regional Maritime University Board of Governors in Accra.
Hon. Ofori Asiamah mentioned that, over the past years, the Government of Ghana focused more on the provision of infrastructure at the expense of the payment of subscriptions, resulting in arrears. However, the Government has remained determined to sustain the RMU and would present a payment plan for the arrears to be considered by the Board.
He announced, the University campus roads which needed repairs had received asphaltic overlay to create a conducive drive on campus. In addition, the completed feasibility study of the University would help to facilitate the provision of world class education and training programmes.
“For this reason, the government of Ghana continues to invest heavily to improve teaching and learning infrastructure at the Regional Maritime University (RMU)” he said.
The Minister said infrastructure facelifts, training tools and equipment would be provided as part of the Project. These would enhance the teaching and learning environment and would position the University as an Institution of Excellence for world class maritime education and training.
Hon. Ofori Asiamah stated, the government of Ghana and Korea, under the Economic Development Corporation Framework, have provided US$153 million to the University to facilitate training which had been on the drawing board for almost a decade.
“The Government will therefore continue to commit the necessary resources to ensure that the University is modernized since it believes in the right to education as a fundamental principle to socio economic development”, he added.
He stated, incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea was a security threat within the sub-region, and if not dealt with would have dire consequences to the maritime industry.
He therefore urged members not to relent but collaborate more to bring this menace to an end.