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ECOWAS urged to establish regional shipping lines

By Ifeyinwa Obi
The Ghanaian Minister of Transport, Mr. Mike Hammah has called on maritime authorities in Africa to collaborate and co-operate in order to benefit effectively from international trade.

He noted that the collapse of National Shipping Lines such as the Black Star Line and Nigerian National Shipping Line were clear indications of the need to pool resources and experiences to enable African countries meet the maritime challenges.

He said that African countries could pool resources for the establishment of Regional Shipping Lines as proposed by Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for the West African sub-region to cement their collaboration.

Hammah made the call while addressing the Crans Montana Forum 21 on Africa held in Brussels, Belgium.
It was under the theme: “Reshaping the African Commercial Maritime Network”.

Mr. Hammah advocated for the streamlining of the shipping industry to allow for Public-Private Partnership and a review of the current regulatory systems in most African countries which had led to multiple and cumbersome inspections by different security agencies, delayed processing and high cost of doing business.He called for infrastructural and human capacity development as well as up to date technology in the maritime sector to place Africa in a better position for world trade of which about 90 per cent was by sea.

Mr. Inusah Abdulai B. Fuseini, deputy minister of Energy, speaking on the topic ‘Africa and Energy – The key Challenge “, said Ghana was on course to provide electricity for all communities under the Self-Help Electrification Project embarked upon by the government.Hesaid governmentwas considering developing other sources of energy for industry and domestic purposes.


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