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Belgium Hosts Global Conference to Prioritize Well-being of Seafarers

11th Mar 2024 | PR UNIT

A Global Maritime Leaders Conference has been convened in Belgium to address the pressing issue of seafarers' welfare. The event, brought together stakeholders worldwide to discuss strategies for enhancing the lives of these vital contributors to the global economy.

The Minister for Transport, Hon. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, speaking at the conference echoed the collective gratitude of the maritime community for the hosting of the conference and expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the Belgian Government for facilitating the crucial dialogue. He emphasized the indispensable role of seafarers, who are often unsung heroes, yet ensured the smooth functioning of global trade by transporting over 80% of goods worldwide.

The Minister noted International Maritime Regulations play a pivotal role in enhancing seafarers' welfare and attracting young talent to the industry. He said that “by prioritizing seafarers' rights and safety in regulations, we can establish safer working conditions, ensure fair treatment, and foster career advancement. Moreover, creating a supportive environment for seafarers will make the profession more enticing to the younger generation thereby leading to a transformation in the industry”.

Hon. Asiamah acknowledged that Africa had the potential as a significant source of future seafarers, because of its youthful population and burgeoning interest in maritime careers, the continent stood poised to play a pivotal role in addressing the industry's labour shortage.

Ghana, he highlighted, was a beacon of progress in this regard, boasting of well-equipped maritime education training facilities and a strong commitment to international standards.

Through partnerships and financial support for maritime education, Hon Ofori Asiamah stated Ghana could significantly increase the number of seafarers registered in the country from 6000 to an estimated 50,000 within the next 8 years. This, he said will not only address the industry's labour shortage but also create employment opportunities and enhance Ghana's maritime prominence globally.

The Minister said Ghana joins the International Community to prioritize the well-being of seafarers, rejuvenate the maritime industry and embrace the opportunities that lie ahead and together, they can forge a brighter future for seafarers, the industry, and the world.

In his Logbook Quote to seafarers, Hon. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah said, "May the seas be kind, the winds favourable, and your spirits resilient. Your dedication sustains global trade. Let regulations prioritize your welfare, attracting the next generation. Together, let's navigate towards a brighter, safer future for all seafarers".