Business News of Monday, 17 June 2019
The European Commission Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Mr. Jyrki Katainen has visited the MPS Tema Port. He was accompanied by some members of the EU including Mrs Diana Acconcia, the Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Ghana and the Government’s Economic Management Team. This is a part of his official visit to Ghana and Togo.
The visit was to enable him assess the impact of the Tema Port Expansion project and identify ways of improving mutual avenues for socio-economic development of Africa (Ghana) and the European Union member countries.
The CEO of Meridian Port Services Ltd, Mr Mohamed Samara who received the delegation asserted that the Tema Port Expansion is an EU –Ghana Partnership geared towards plugging Ghana and Africa at large into the international trade.
“With the support of the Ghanaian Government and our shareholders who are from the EU, this facility has been built to create a bigger access point for Africa to international trade. Connectivity is the way to go for industrialization in Ghana and Africa. The way to properly plug Ghana into international trade is through the sea port. It has been established that this new port has the potential to increase Ghana’s export by 14%-17%, which means a rise of 1.7%-2.2% in GDP and 3.3%-4.0% more jobs.”
We are not just looking at the international trade but trade within other parts of Africa. Ghana stands to gain from the trade that would go on in the hinterlands. By creating a hub for feeder services to ply Ghana, cost of shipping from Ghana to Conakry is reduced by a couple of dollars which is an addition to the economy of Ghana.
On how significant the port is to an agrarian economy such as Ghana. He said that a preliminary research done by QBIS Consulting (Quantifying Business Impact on Society) on the Socio-economic impact of the project on the Ghanaian Economy points to a viable future for the Agricultural sector.
“Ghana’s job engine remains the agricultural sector and this sector stands to benefit most from the increased export accruing from the Tema Port. The new port would boost the competitiveness of Ghana’s export by opening trade routes to farmers and developing Ghana’s agro based industries. This will translate into reduction of unemployment rates and poverty. It is expected that out of the 452,000-549,000 jobs to be created, 77% will be from the agricultural sector.”
A member of the Ghana Economic Management Team, Prof. Amoako-TUFFOUR emphasized that when placed in the right perspective, the new Tema Port was a model of a sustainable instrument for job creation.
“The sea does not deplete. The Port is not in the extractive industry nor is it a resource that would be diminished within a period of time, it is a non- depleting asset. The facility itself has been built to last for a century implying that this would serve the current generation and provide lasting solutions to the unemployment situation in the years ahead.”
After a tour of the port facility, the European Union Vice President intimated that the ambitious investment undertaken open doors for European Manufacturers to explore viable investment avenues in Ghana.
“Europe is committed to sustainable investment and jobs, I believe that the other forms of cargo will also achieve an increase as the container cargo grows. Many European businesses are interested in the diverse market in Africa. Their redirection into Ghana and Africa would create a stronger partnership for socio-economic transformation”