Ghana Targets Roads to Boost Port Potential

The MOU signing ceremony.

By The Maritime Executive 11-29-2017 07:00:35

APM Terminals has signed an MOU with the Government of Ghana for the construction of the new port and logistics hub in Tema which is expected to be opened in 2019.

As part of the port master plan, APM Terminals Inland Services Africa, the Government and the non-profit road safety organization Amend agreed to ensure port access roads and highways that will handle the inland transportation are safe and able to handle increased traffic flow.

According to Amend, over 1.2 million worldwide die every year from road traffic injuries and millions more are injured. Africa has the world’s highest road traffic injury rates, and road traffic injury is the leading cause of death for children over five years-old. Amend develops, implements and evaluates evidence-based programs to reduce the incidence of road traffic injury in Africa, using population-based scientific studies, community-based road safety programs, advocacy, lighting infrastructure, media campaigns and school programs such as high visibility, reflective school bags.

In order to highlight logistics issues with road transport in the region, the Ghana Shippers Authority organized a roadshow for haulage truck drivers in Tema, in collaboration with the Borderless Alliance, and with the support of allied institutions like the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority. The roadshow demonstrated current issues with road transportation of cargo on Ghana’s corridor as well as the problems faced by haulage truck owners and drivers. 

For example, Borderless Alliance's Senam Gowonu said: “The Mali trucks taking clinker from the Port of Takoradi are paying GH¢100 at each police checkpoint between Tamale and Bolgatanga. We believe that such practices are not suitable for making our corridor very competitive. It is not in favor of the government’s effort of creating a borderless region where Ghana would be at the center of economic development,” he explained. 

The National President of the Borderless Alliance, Zaid Hamoui said the free movement of goods and people is an important component of economic growth and that Ghana is well positioned to become the true gateway for West Africa with better management of its corridor, from the seaports to the borders and beyond.

The Director of Tema Port Edward Osei, expressed the readiness of the Port Authority in making Ghana a leading container hub and the beacon of trade and industry in West Africa, and the CEO of the Ghana Shippers Authority pledged her commitment to improving Ghana’s transit corridor. 

This month, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) marked its 10th anniversary in Ghana. The company controls 25 percent of the shipping industry in the country. Addressing players in the shipping, marine and port industry at the anniversary ceremony, Deputy Minister for Transport, Daniel Nii Kwatei Titus-Glover assured the shipping lines in Ghana and the world over that Ghana’s government will continue to provide a business friendly environment for them to conduct their businesses.

“Today if we look at the security within the Tema Port and Takoradi, it is one of the best in the West African Sub-region, and I think it is the reason why shipping lines continue to come and do business with Ghana,” he said. He also reiterated that Ghana’s Port Authority in collaboration with agencies have resolved to secure Ghana’s territorial waters to protect vessels and cargoes.