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Minister Addresses 9th Our Ocean Conference

22nd Apr 2024 | PR UNIT

In a bid to fortify Ghana’s maritime security and bolster global stability, the Minister for Transport, Hon. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah has unveiled strategies aimed at harnessing innovation and emerging technologies.

He said Ghana’s economy heavily relies on maritime activities, including fishing, shipping, and offshore oil and gas exploration, underscoring the critical importance of maritime security for sustainable development, economic prosperity, and environmental conservation.

Recognizing the evolving nature of maritime threats, the Minister noted that Ghana was spearheading initiatives to modernize its surveillance systems and patrol assets. “The acquisition of state-of-the-art technologies, including Unmanned Area Vessels (UAVs) and Autonomous Surface Vehicles (ASVs), promises to revolutionize maritime domain awareness, enabling swift detection, interception, and response to security threats”, he added.

Speaking at the 9th Our Ocean Conference in Greece, he stated that Ghana’s commitment to maritime security was unwavering, investing significantly in cutting-edge technologies to safeguard maritime territories, protect national interests, and contribute to global stability in the maritime domain.

The initiatives outlined by the Minister encompass multifaceted approaches, including enhancing interagency coordination and fostering international collaboration and the harmonized Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) manual developed by the National Maritime Security Committee aimed at streamlining operations among maritime law enforcement agencies, fostering seamless communication and information sharing during security incidents.

“Furthermore, Ghana advocates for a region-wide SOP document in the Gulf of Guinea area to facilitate cooperation among maritime law enforcement agencies. The nation is also integrating national Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) systems to enhance information sharing and collaboration, ensuring a clearer national domain awareness picture”, he revealed.

Hon. Ofori Asiamah noted that Ghana's efforts underscored the importance of collective action and cooperation in addressing maritime security threats and championing innovation and collaboration, Ghana sets a precedent for other coastal states in the region and beyond.

He mentioned that Ghana was committed to international collaboration, contributing to global initiatives aimed at enhancing maritime security. As home to Maritime Multinational Coordination Center (MMCC) Zone F, Ghana provides resources to foster international cooperation and information sharing.

Hon. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah reiterated that Ghana was appealing for a reconsideration of the categorization of the Gulf of Guinea as a High-Risk Area, despite continued efforts to mitigate maritime incidents, the designation imposes high premiums and freight rates, which is adversely affecting the economies of coastal States.

“As Ghana advances its maritime security agenda, the Nation calls for collective action to safeguard vital maritime routes, ensuring sustainable development, economic prosperity, and environmental conservation for present and future generations”, he added