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01.06.2005 Business & Finance

RMA holds BOG meeting; inaugurates facilities

By GNA

Nungua, June 1, GNA - The Regional Maritime Academy (RMA) on Tuesday held its 35th Board of Governors meeting with a call on member states to ratify and implement the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention on seafarers to give them the security to secure jobs globally.

Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Professor Christopher Ameyaw Akumfi, Minister of Harbours and Railways, drew attention of the Board to the new ILO Convention and said failure to comply with it would prevent 185 Seafarers, who had identity documents, the right of getting jobs in the international maritime industry.

The Minister said the intention of the ILO to publish the list of compliant states would certainly reduce the chances of seafarers from non-complaint states from taking advantage of employment opportunities on sea-going ships.

He, therefore, urged them to take advantage of the changing status to maximise gains of the membership.

A number of facilities were inaugurated to coincide with the meeting, which was attended by member states including Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. Cameroon was absent. The facilities included a 10-classroom block and a survival-training swimming pool built, four-classroom block sponsored by the Ghana Shippers Council and Chart Room, which was established with internally generated funds of the Academy.

Mr Bala Jahumpa, Secretary of State for Works Construction and Infrastructure Development of The Gambia, which is the current chairman, called for collective responsibility to ensure that the objectives set by the founding fathers of the RMA were not only attained but also sustained.

This required an abiding commitment and support from each member state of the RMA and he, therefore, urged them to honour their financial contributions towards the development of the Academy. He stressed the need for new initiatives to generate revenue to sustain the Academy to enable it to fulfil its mandate of providing quality maritime education and training for its students. He encouraged the Academy to invest further in the area of Information Technology so that students could continue to have access to the Internet to enhance learning.

"We must devote special efforts and resources to our education because those, who come after this generation must be better", he stated.

Captain Aaron Turkson, Principal of the Academy, enumerated a number of steps taken to improve upon facilities to promote academic activities and said the Academy had taken delivery of new training equipment for the digital electronic and fluid mechanics laboratories. The students complained of continuous water shortage at the campus and appealed to the authorities to endeavour to solve it and called for the expansion and stocking the library with modern books as well as the provision of more dormitories for them. 1 June 05

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