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27.04.2005 General News

EU Ambassadors tour GPHA

By GNA

Tema, April 27, GNA -- Eight European Union ambassadors on Tuesday visited the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to acquaint themselves with operations at the port.

They were the ambassadors of the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Czech Republic, Spain, France, Germany, the High Commissioner of Britain and one attach=E9.

The group has already visited the Cocoa Research Institute at Akim Tafo and the Obuasi Gold Mines.

Dutch Ambassador Arie Vandei Weil said the purpose was to learn about those sectors for the EU to see how best it could support their development.

Mr Ben Owusu Mensah, Director General of GPHA, said the port that used to have over 3,000 staff now has 1,000 after restructuring. He said the port handles 8.4 million tonnes of cargo and 764,000 Transit Cargo every year.

He mentioned Burkina Faso and Mali as the main customers of the port as far as transit cargo is concerned.

About its Gateway Programme, the Director General said it was to reduce cost of business at the port and this would transform GPHA into a Landlord Port Authority.

The programme will also increase container handling at the port. Dwelling time of containers will be reduced from 25 days to seven days and container loading and unloading rate will be increased from 12 boxes per hour to 24 boxes per hour.

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