The Chancellor and Board Chairman of the Regional Maritime University (RMU), Mr Jean Ernest Bibehe, has asked the university to introduce a programme in maritime law to equip students with legal knowledge towards the fight against maritime crime in the sub region.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 25th RMU Board of Governors meeting in Accra, Mr Bibehe said the lack of requisite knowledge in maritime law made it difficult to deal extensively with cases across the region.
"Maritime law is very vital in dealing with any type of occurrence on open water since 90 per cent of goods transit through the season," he said.
He indicated that it was required that the laws governing those transits ought to be given adequate attention, and RMU being a maritime institution had the pedigree to start a maritime law programme.
"I have engaged with two of the major maritime law institutions in the world, including the Swansea University in the UK to support RMU in establishing the maritime law programme," he stated.
Over the years, Mr Bibehe stated that maritime law had been given little attention by academic institutions on the continent, as most students pursuing maritime law had to rely on other institutions outside the sub region.
Establishing the law programme in RMU, he said, would go a long way to address the challenge and also provide a lot of opportunities for students and the country at large.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Transport, Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, lauded the university for overcoming the challenges brought about as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and staying focused to deliver quality maritime education across the sub region.
He said every effort must be made to tap into the various advantages within the blue economy.
"RMU epitomises the spirit of cooperation and the government is committed to support the RMU to achieve the purpose for which it has been established," he stated.
Mr Asiamah said the government would strengthen collaborations with other maritime institutions to develop RMU to deliver on its mandate.
Other member state representatives at the board of governors meeting were the Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure of The Gambia, Bai Lamin Jobe; the Chief Executive Officer of the Liberia Maritime Authority, Mr Lenn Eugene Nagbe; and Sierra Leone's Minister of Transport and Aviation, Kabine Kalloh.
They all reaffirmed their commitment to the growth of the RMU.