Ghana Chamber of shipping to champion interest of shipping industry

Business News of Friday, 4 August 2017

Source: The New Maritime and Transport Digest


Convener of the Chamber, Ben Owusu Mensah

The Ghana Chamber of Shipping, a new trade association in the country will seek to champion the interest of the shipping industry and bring together the main stakeholders in the industry from both the demand and supply side.

The key objective is to protect the various stakeholders with regards to shipping policies and regulations.

A statement issued by the chamber at its maiden meeting at the Labadi beach hotel in Accra and copied to the New M& TD stated that the chamber hopes to work with government, parliament international organisations and institutions with interest in Maritime transport to champion and protect the industry on behalf of its members.

‘’Membership of the chamber will give access to unrivalled policy expertise, an extensive network of industry influencers and a voice in government policies and beyond that can simply not be achieved by companies acting alone’’ the statement noted.

The chamber according to the statement boasts of dedicated experts of unparalleled breadth of specialist knowledge, expertise and experience that will support its members on legislation and regulation that affect their business, adding that it is also expected to create change, influence government policies and affect the industry.

Duplicating roles with Ghana Shippers’ Authority

Convener of the Chamber, Ben Owusu Mensah a former director general of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and an international port and shipping management expert told the New M&TD in an interview that the chamber’s role will not amount to a duplication of roles with the Ghana shippers’ Authority. ‘’ The shippers’ Authority protects only the interest of the shipper, we want to speak for everybody.

We want to speak not for shipping owners only, not for shippers only, not for maritime administration only, but for everybody in the industry. So we have a forum where everybody will come together so we will be able to shape government policies as and when they are being churned out’’ he said.

Uncoordinated shipping policies

Mr. Owusu Mensah explained that the non coordinated nature of policies being promoted by various interest groups and implemented by government gives for worry, hence the need to help fashion and shape policies for the industry.

‘’What happens is that one faction will think of a policy, seek government intervention and then this is put forward without thinking of the other side so we think that before government comes out with any policy, it should consider the interest of everybody in the industry. One’s gain should not be the other’s loss and that what we are trying to look at.

Supervisory Council and directors

The Ghana Chamber of Shipping’s governing body is the supervisory council and directors encapsulating 10 senior figures in the shipping industry who will oversee and guide all activities of the chamber on behalf of its members.

Members of the supervising council and directors include Alhaji Asoma Banda, a shipping mogul, former president of the Ship Owners and Agents Association of Ghana and current board chairman of Meridian Port Services, MPS, Ben Owusu Mensah, Managing consultant of Benom Consult, former director general of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, and an international port and shipping management expert, Alex Buabeng, a consultant of the International Maritime Organisation in maritime legislation and an expert in maritime law and marine insurance, Captain Aaron Turkson, a former rector of the Regional Maritime University and a maritime education specialist and Sam Botchway, former managing director of the Ghana Dock Labour Company, a shipping expert and currently serving as a consultant with UNCTAD.

The rest are Dr. Kofi Mbiah, immediate past Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority and an international maritime expert, Hammed Rashid Tunde Ali, former managing director of the Tema Shipyard and a shipping and logistics expert, Nii Armah Ashietey, former secretary general of the Ghana Merchant Navy Officers Association, a former mayor of the port city of Tema and a former Minister of state, Gordon Anim, a port operations and management expert and former GPHA director of port for both the Tema and Takoradi ports as well as Magnus Teye Addico, former secretary general of the Maritime Organisation for West and Central Africa, a former chief executive officer of the then Ghana Shippers’ Council , and international maritime policy expert, former board chairman of the Black Star Line and a former board chairman of GPHA.

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