Ghana's prospects in developing a robust and sustainable blue economy is dependent on the security of its maritime domain and, by extension, adjoining waters, the National Security Coordinator, Major General Francis Adu-Amanfoh (retd), has said.
He said it was therefore necessary to adopt policies and strategies that would help the nation to address ocean governance and maritime challenges while exploring all challenges.
Major General Adu-Amanfoh, who was speaking at a workshop in Koforidua in the Eastern Region, on Wednesday, July 14, on the National Integrated Maritime Strategy (NIMS), said the workshop was therefore, tailored to help address challenges and concurrently harness the benefits along "our 540 kilometres coastline and the coastal expanse".
NIMS in support of blue economy
He said the strategy had covered many important subjects and that both the vision and mission of the NIMS were crafted with a strategic view in mind.
"Ghana's place among the 10 top fish consuming countries globally, with an average per capita consumption of 23.7 kilogrammes per annum, was not lost in the drafting of the NIMS.
The inclusive nature of the NIMS is testament to the quest of relevant stakeholders including government agencies to secure our ocean opportunities," he added.
He said for example, a comprehensive implementation of the NIMS, with the necessary strategic direction, would boost Ghana's fisheries sector and bring an added value of over 30 per cent which would translate directly into enhanced livelihoods in our coastal communities, the fishing industry and across the country.
Major General Adu-Amanfoh said Ghana's geostrategic allocation afforded the country easy access to navigational routes and that to protect this and further develop its potential, the endorsement and implementation of the NIMS was critical.
Partnership and collaboration
He said the country, through the National Security Secretariat, had been in partnership and collaboration with a number of countries including the United States which offered the opportunities to undertake and develop a number of strategic and institutional reforms.
He acknowledged the logistics and financial support of the Ghana Maritime Authority, the Ministry of National Security and other agencies towards the development of the NIMS.
He also thanked the government of Denmark and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for their pivotal role towards the development of the NIMS.
For his part, the Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Mr Daniel Appianing said discussions were ongoing between the Minister of Transport and Aviation and the South Korean government for the provision of a training ship for the Regional Maritime University.