The 17th Extraordinary session of the General Assembly of the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) has been held in Accra, Ghana to enable the organisation perform more effectively in steering the affairs of the region’s maritime industry.
The 3-day meeting which brought together ministers of member states and high level technical experts and advisors was essentially used to give consideration and adopt a MOWCA-IMO Joint Action Plan that seeks to contribute to strengthening of the maritime economy in the region.
Secretary General of MOWCA, Dr. Paul Adalikwu underscored some of the strides undertaken since he took over the reins of leadership which have caused the rebirth of the previously dormant institution.
“Within the last one year, the organisation has witness radical changes and innovations which I have introduced since assuming reins of this organisation. I have embarked on untiring trips to member countries rekindle their interest and confident in the organisation and also appraise peculiar challenges each of them have faced in every country I have visited.”
Chairman of MOWCA and Ghana’s Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah called on member states to fulfil their obligations to the organisation and approach development of the sector in a concerted manner.
“No single member state can make significant strides on its own. Areas such as maritime security, maritime safety and navigation, port and infrastructure development, environmental protection, fisheries amongst others can only become effective when approached with a coordinated and integrated effort. It is in line with the above, that I have convened this extraordinary session being the second in the space of thirteen months to ensure the organisation is steered towards its objectives in accordance with best management practices and principles.”
Special Guest of Honour and Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, urged the organisation to take practical discussions towards green shipping initiatives in accordance with global trends.
She said, “the organisation must begin frank discussions on current development in green shipping initiatives, which involves the use of the alternative fuels with low or zero carbon in place of fossil fuels as this is fast becoming the new way of shipping and Africa cannot be afford to be left behind as the world makes this move.”