West Africa Branch Seminar

Posted on Friday, July 7, 2017 and tagged as ICS branch news

Accra, Ghana - Tuesday 4th July 2017 the West Africa Branch organised a seminar on Container Demurrage - its administration and impact on the maritime industry in Ghana. The event was organised in conjunction with the visit to the branch of the Membership Committee of the Institute.

The seminar sealed the position of the branch as a leader within the West Africa maritime industry and the branch succeeded in gathering together the Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon. Carlos Ahenkorah, experts on Demurrage such as Dr Kofi Mbiah, former Chief Executive of the Ghana Shippers Authority and leaders of the local maritime sector including executives of local companies and shipping professionals.

The challenge faced by the seminar was the $100M charged to shippers annually in demurrage fees across ports in Ghana - much of which is avoidable. These are costs that are ultimately passed on and paid by the final consumer, but these costs are originated from system inefficiencies and possibly a lack of understanding on the part of the shippers.

A change in the regulations as well as procedures locally are much needed at every level - lines, port authorities,  port agents, shippers and customs - so as to implement a real change and tackle system inefficiencies.

The highly successful seminar concluded with a wide ranging debate and discussion on the urgency to find solutions to a problem that is concerning so many in the industry.

The Ghana maritime export sector is strong, with 800,000 tonnes of cocoa shipped out of the country annually as well as other commodities, and the sector has great potential to grow stronger. The Deputy Minister promised to work hard to ensure that Ghanaian shipbrokers have opportunities to practice their profession and apply their knowledge and skills. He emphasised the need for the Ghanaian shipping community to expand its skills and education, and ensure that the benefits of global trade are brought into Ghana, and benefit the people of Ghana.

Fred Asiedu-Dartey, Chairman of the Institute branch of West Africa, concluded the event with his commitment on behalf of the branch and the wider network; to support whatever professional skills or education is needed on the ground in Ghana, they have a partner in the Institute.

With more than 5,000 examinations supported around the world annually, branches in 25 locations, and a 100 year old commitment to ensuring accessible, professional qualifications of the highest standard are available to people irrespective of geography or economic position - the Institute is rapidly becoming the maritime sectors' capacity-building powerhouse, partnering with governments, organisations and companies in developing nations across the globe.

This seminar in Accra highlighted the vital role the Institute plays within national maritime sectors.

Seminar Chair, Karl Franz FICS

Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon Carlos Ahenkorah

West Africa Branch Chair, Fred Asiedu-Dartey FICS

Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers Director, Julie Lithgow

Guest Speaker, Dr Kofi Mbiah, former Chief Executive of the Ghana Shippers Authority