The Government of Ghana and Denmark have signed the third phase of the Strategic Sector Cooperation in Maritime to promote safety on the Volta Lake.
The Lake continues to record boat accidents with people losing their lives.
The Ghana News Agency reported in April 2022 that some 40 persons were feared dead on the Lake after a boat capsized.
The boat was crossing the Lake from Tongor-Dzemeni in the South Dayi District of the Volta Region to Havorkope in the Kwahu Afram Plains North District of the Eastern Region, when it encountered the storm leading to the accident.
The third phase of the Strategic Sector Cooperation in Maritime, from 2022-2025, therefore focuses on enhancing navigational safety on the Volta Lake using digital infrastructure to ensure safety on the Lake and deal with the many avoidable accidents.
Also, the third phase of the Cooperation will ensure compliance to international standards on commercial and capacity development of Ghanaian pilots and tugboat masters in the port of Tema to further optimise daily operations and public-private collaboration.
The Strategic Sector Cooperation in Maritime, which started in 2015, will in the third phase, contribute to the green transition in the maritime industry by aiding Ghana’s green agenda and making the Port of Tema a recognised Green Port and the preferred transshipment hub in sub-Saharan Africa.
Ghana and Denmark, through the Ghana Maritime Authority and the Danish Maritime Authority had previously committed to enhancing collaboration on maritime safety and compliance with international standards and ensuring greater focus on the use of environmentally sustainable solutions.
Again, both countries pledged to work on the Zero Emission Shipping goal with the objective to ensure that ships capable of running on zero-emission fuels make up at least five per cent of the global deep-sea fleet by 2030.
Mr Andreas Nordseth, Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority, speaking at the signing of the third phase of the cooperation, said the Government of Denmark was scaling up its efforts to improve maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea through support for strengthened operational capacity and improved law enforcement institutions at national and regional levels.
He said the project marked the collaborative efforts between the two counties in the last six years, adding that among other things, the objective of the project was to promote sustainability, green growth and enhancement of the Ghana maritime sector through “world class Danish solutions.”
The Director General said the two previous phases had taken off steadily and there had been an expansion of the cooperation in the Maritime sector of both counties throughout the six years requiring an even stronger collaboration in the ensuing years.
“This collaboration is enhancing the work of the GMA, adding to our continuous efforts of making the Port of Tema the best in West and Central Africa, whilst ensuring safety of migration on the Lake Volta and the sea,” Mr Nordseth said.
Moving forward, the Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority stated that there would be the involvement of a lot more authorities, including the participation of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency to focus on new challenging areas for both countries.
“One of the areas will be the greening of the maritime domain to reduce greenhouse gas emission from shipping with a strategic target of becoming climate neutral in 2050,” he said, adding that it was a daunting task as some solutions needed to be found by both maritime authorities in addressing the challenges.
Mr Tom Norring, Ambassador of Denmark to Ghana, said the project complemented Denmark’s broad maritime agenda for promoting safe and secure maritime domain awareness in West Africa, which would translate in a more efficient sea-borne trade.
Mr Kweku Asiamah, Minister for Transport, said the strategic partnership played a key part in the ensuring that Ghana met International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Regulatory Compliance through the creation of quality unit, among others, for improved maritime safety in the Port of Tema through the training of Ghanaian tugboat masters.
He said the project was well thought through and expressed optimism that stakeholders would support it to enhance safety in Lake transport.