Leverage technology to drive efficiency at ports

BY: Maclean Kwofi
 Dr Kofi Mbiah
Dr Kofi Mbiah

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Shippers Authority, Dr Kofi Mbiah, has called on stakeholders in the maritime industry to leverage on technology to improve operations at the country’s ports.

He explained that a full automated and integrated clearance system that permited the sharing and utilisation of relevant trade and transport information was crucial for the development of the maritime industry.

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“In this regard, it would be necessary to utilise our existing technological infrastructure for cargo examination to eliminate intrusive inspections at our ports,” Dr Mbiah said this at a book launch last week Thursday in Accra. 

“We must make use of our post clearance control systems and utilise our audit trail mechanisms. Within the framework of automation, we must put in place measures to achieve data integrity and reliability,” he stated.

According to him, to attain a higher level of efficiency at the ports, the country needed to review existing legal and administrative framework to engender the requisite application and compliance.

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“I also call for an improvement in logistics infrastructure that takes account of a modality complementary and integrated transport system,” he added.

Dr Mbiah also observed that it was imperative for the country to place logistic performance and the development of maritime cluster at the heart of growth agenda.

Book launch 

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He was speaking at the launch of a book on maritime law and international trade which is expected to serve as a ready reference for justices of the supreme courts, maritime lawyers and researchers.

The title of the book,  “The Admiral – A Compendium” has 1049-pages of all the papers presented by internationally acclaimed and seasoned experts at the annual Maritime Seminar Series for judges of the superior court of judicature.

The annual seminar was an initiative of the Ghana Shippers Authority and the Judicial Training Institute.

Dr Mbiah said the objectives for instituting these seminars and producing this compendium was to ensure a deeper appreciation of the nuances in the maritime industry. 

He observed the book was also meant to keep judges in the country abreast with new developments in the dynamic filed of maritime law and international trade.

“For good order, easy comprehension and research, the book has been arranged under specific topics. It is divided into nine parts with 38 chapters and covers topics such as admiralty and practice, the carriage of goods by sea, marine insurance, and oil and gas law,” he said.

Contribution of the authority 

Dr Mbiah said over the years, the Ghana Shippers Authority has protected and promoted the interests of shippers various programmes across the country.

The chief executive officer stated that the negotiation of freight rates for the carriage of Ghana’s cocoa had save the country on the average close to US$10 million annually.

“The development of the Takoradi Logistics Platform and the authority’s warehouses in Tema which provide logistics support to shippers, the publication of the Shipping Review and a quarterly journal that provides information on current shipping matters and statistics to the industry,” he added.