The Minister for Transport, Hon. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, has charged Experts of the Maritime Organization of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) to bring their expertise to bear on how to improve the Maritime sector in the West and Central Africa, which was important to the sustainability and survival of the Maritime industry.
According to him, the key focus of MOWCA that strengthens the purpose of the Organization included, encouraging private sector participation in ship operation, development of coastal shipping networks and establishment of feeder systems to connect hubs and spoke ports, port development, strengthening of service-oriented shippers’ councils, strengthening of regional maritime academies and more importantly maritime safety and environmental protection in shipping activities.
These were said in a speech read on behalf of the Minister by the Director of Administration and Finance for the Ministry of Transport, at the Experts Meeting of the 16th Extraordinary Session of the General Assembly of the MOWCA.
He said, as a technical session, it was his expectation that members would approach all issues tabled as part of the agenda for the meeting with a sense of objectivity and inner feeling for the overall development and promotion of the maritime sector in the Sub Region.
The Minister noted as they were all aware of the challenges confronting the maritime sector, especially during this period of the Covid-19 pandemic, which had been further exacerbated by the emergence of the various variances to the pandemic, they needed to come up with measures that would make member states develop their maritime sector for the betterment of the West and Central Africa.
“These developments clearly tell us that we are not in normal times and we need to sit up as a collective body and confront the challenges head-on”, Hon. Ofori Asiamah added.
He urged the Experts Meeting to come out with cogent recommendations that would inure to the benefit of the industry and the MOWCA, to facilitate decision-making in the Ministerial Session expected to be held thereafter.