Workshop for stakeholders in maritime sector underway in Accra
A capacity building workshop on how to access and use maritime and financial networks to address developmental needs in countries is underway in Accra.
The five-day regional programme, which forms part of the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) long-term resource mobilisation strategy, also aims at helping participating countries to create a more interconnected and supportive maritime community to access available resources to address their developmental needs.
It would also enable donor agencies to understand and identify specific needs and demands of recipient countries to build capacity and also support the development of the maritime sector in participating countries in West and Central Africa.
Organised by the IMO in partnership with the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), the workshop is being attended by delegates from Ghana, Cabo Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, The Gambia, and Nigeria which would share knowledge and seek possible cooperation opportunities in the maritime field, with focus on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Representatives from the national development planning commissions of the participating countries are also in attendance.
Trade and devt
The Director of Partnership and Projects at the IMO, Youngso Kim, said the incorporation of the maritime sector into the overall national development planning policies of countries could significantly boost trade and development.
He said developing countries often lacked the technical expertise and resources to come up with high-quality project proposals and feasibility studies, thus, preventing them from accessing available funds, coupled with the fact that many developing countries were unaware of IMO's funding opportunities.
Maritime projects, Mr Kim said, could help countries achieve their national development goals by improving infrastructure, connectivity, and human capacity, as well as attracting investment that would impact on job creation and also address the overall imbalances in the system.
The director further said the workshop was a platform to increase the chances of funding for members states, as well as support them to develop maritime plans which national development planning agencies would be bound to support.
“To address these challenges, the IMO is providing capacity building assistance to developing countries to help them develop the skills and expertise necessary to prepare and submit high-quality project proposals and feasibility studies,” he added.
A Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Yaw Akosa Antwi, said the outcome of the programme would provide practical steps towards a more interconnected and supportive maritime community.
He said it would also create opportunity for regional partners to build bridges and strengthen their networks to enhance a communication regime among partners.
Mr Antwi further said rapid technological advancements, evolving regulatory landscapes, and global challenges required that regional partners pooled their knowledge, expertise and resources “so we can address the complex challenges facing the maritime industry more effectively”.
He also urged the participants to actively contribute, share experiences and explore potential avenues for collaboration.