A Deputy Minister for Transport, Hon. Fredrick Obeng Adom has said Ghana’s seaport is one of the main gateways for international trade to West Africa, accounting for over 90% of Ghana’s international trade with overwhelming effect and potential for boosting economic and GDP growth, and was therefore imperative that the country strives to drive improvements within the ports to reduce transaction cost, facilitate trade and position our ports as a hub for the West African sub-region, particularly within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
He noted the massive infrastructural investments, coupled with other soft interventions by Government such as the paperless Ports System introduced in 2017 and the Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS) were not only intended to modernize the ports and increase efficiency but also enhance competitiveness, improve shipping services and facilitate the diversification and growth of port traffic.
He added, “these interventions with the support of stakeholders have harmonized and improved the Port clearance system by ensuring a seamless, convenient and quick turnaround time in the port clearance processes”.
The Deputy Minister said these when he commissioned the 4th new berth at the MPS Terminal at the Tema Port. The berth becomes one of the deepest in Africa, allowing the worlds’ biggest vessels to access the Tema port, which is expected to improve productivity and capacity.
Hon Obeng Adom mentioned, investments in ports infrastructure alone will not lead to achieving the desired objectives but have to be coupled with efficient measures on the operational side of Ports processes.
“Improving efficiency of our ports therefore remains key priority of government and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA). One major means by which port efficiency can be improved is through the use of technology”, he said.
He stated we should not lose sight of the fact that investment in technology and the constant maintenance and upgrade of our Technological Systems were key to the competitiveness of our ports.
He therefore commended the MPS for their investment in systems like the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Systems, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Systems, Scanners, Terminal Operating Systems (Navis 4), Truck Appointment Systems (TAS) and the Differential Global Positioning Systems (DGPS), which were internationally standard systems to be used by any port in the world.
The Deputy Minister mentioned that, the Ministry of Transport was working with its sister Ministry of Roads and Highways and other Stakeholders including the GPHA, in constructing the Tema Arterial Roads Project which aims at comprehensively upgrading the urban road networks in Tema as well as enhance the capacity of the access roads to the port. Also, the Tema – Mpakadan Railway Line would be linked to the port as part of the Eastern Multimodal Transport Corridor development.
“All these projects were part of efforts by Government to integrate our transport infrastructure in order to achieve the needed synergies and efficiency of our transport and logistics value chain” he stated.
The Hon. Deputy Minister commended MPS and its partners as well as the contractors and consultants for completing the 4th berth on schedule and thanked them for their support and cooperation over these past few years.
He extended his gratitude to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and all its sister maritime agencies and stakeholders who in diverse ways supported and contributed towards the successful delivery of the project on time.