A World Maritime University (WMU) delegation visited key maritime, port, and disaster management agencies in Ghana from 31 May to 1 June in connection with the European Union-funded Western and Central Africa Port Security (WeCAPS) project. The visit provided the WMU team with valuable insight into the current status of International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code compliance, and disaster management and response in Ghana.
The WMU/WeCAPS delegation was composed of Professor Max Mejia and Associate Professor Aref Fakhry. Visits included the head office of the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) where the delegation was welcomed by the Director-General, Mr. Thomas Alonsi, and the headquarters of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) with Director-General, Mr. Michael Luguje—a WMU graduate (2004).
The delegation also visited the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), and participated in a round-table discussion about port security with a range of experts at the Centre for Maritime Law and Security Africa (CEMLAWS)—research, consultancy, and advocacy think-tank.
A field visit included the Tema Port container terminal. Many of the officials met in the maritime and port-related organizations are graduates of WMU. There are 123 WMU alumni in total from Ghana.
Overall, the meetings provided an opportunity to gain an understanding of the challenges encountered in the operationalization of security, safety, environmental protection, and disaster management in key Ghanaian ports by reference to the legal and governmental frameworks in place, which is WMU’s main contribution to the WeCAPS project.
The visit paved the way for the drawing up of a roadmap for further strengthening relevant national institutions, instruments, and processes in port security, and disaster management and response. The roadmap will be shared with concerned stakeholders at a workshop to be held in Ghana in the latter part of the year.