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01.12.2003 General News

Ghana Wins Seat On IMO

By Kate Hudson, London (Graphic)
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Ghana, at the weekend won a seat on the prestigious executive council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) during competitive elections held at the ongoing 23rd regular session of the general assembly of the organisation in London.

Ghana’s election became possible through the hard work of the high powered government delegation attending the session, and the role Ghana has played in the work of the IMO and in international maritime affairs.

The Ghanaian delegation was led by Prof Christopher Ameyaw Akumfi, Minister of Ports, Harbours and Railways, while the Ghana High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Mr Isaac Osei was the alternate leader, with Alhaji M.N.D Jawula, Chief Director at the Ports Ministry, Mr Peter Azumah, Shipping Commissioner and E.K Tawiah, Shipping Superintendent as members.

Other members of the delegation includes Mr Kofi Mbiah, Chief Executive of the Ghana Shippers Council, Mr Ben Owusu Mensah, Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Mr Samuel Jonfiah, MP and Vice Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Roads and Transport, as well as Mr Isaac Antwi, First Secretary in charge of Political and Economic Affairs at the Ghana High Commission in London.

With her election, Ghana will be serving with 19 other members, for a two-year term in category “C” which was contested by 30 other members states. Ghana has already served in this category for five times.

This category is made up of member who have not been elected to categories “A” or “B” but have special interests in maritime transport or navigation, and whose election to the council, will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world.

Member states elected to this category include Nigeria, South Africa, Algeria, Egypt, Singapore, Portugal, Poland, Denmark, Thailand, Indonesia, Bahamas, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Venezuela, Chile, Philippines, Malta and Mexico.

In a related development, Prof Christopher Ameyaw Akumfi stressed the need for the (IMO), to take a critical look at some of the difficulties facing developing countries with regards to the ratification and implementation of some of the maritime conventions.

He said while these countries appreciated the importance of ratifying and enforcing these conventions and the repercussions of their failure to do so, certain factors might militate against their ability to go by the regulations. “The IMO secretariat should therefore continue to pay attention to some debilitating regional and sub regional peculiarities”, he said.

Prof Ameyaw Akumfi also stressed the need for the organisation to reexamine the disbursement of the Technical Co-operation Fund (TCF) so that it could support African nations or for that matter, developing countries.

The assembly was discussing the status of the IMO conventions and instruments, technical co-operation fund, maritime protection, arrears of contribution, long term work plan and budget, elect new members to the executive council, appoint a new general secretary and come out with recommendations for the next biennium.

The Minister announced that Ghana had accepted to host the IMO regional office on technical co-operation for West and Central Africa.

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