Ghana keen to work with Namport

Ghana’s minister of foreign affairs and regional integration, Shirley Botchwey.

A delegation from Ghana, led by Ghana’s minister of foreign affairs and regional integration, Shirley Botchwey, paid the Namibian Ports Authority a visit yesterday.

The delegation aimed to familiarise themselves with the operations at the port of Walvis Bay, and to share their knowledge and expertise.

Botchwey, who is currently a candidate for the position of the next secretary general of the Commonwealth, said she was impressed with how the port was functioning.

“It is impressive what you are doing. You are not just looking out for your own market, but also landlocked countries and your neighbouring country, South Africa.

“You are not just looking at what you have now, but also mapping out the future. I’m sure you did a lot of research on how to operate with green hydrogen in terms of exports and how to deal with green minerals, oil and gas.

“This is the idea of cooperation. We look at what is being done in terms of best practices so that we do not reinvent them. We are very willing to share our competences and experiences with you,” she said.

Ghana’s Ports and Harbours Authority spokesperson, Nana Soderberg, said the Ghanaian and Namibian ports have a lot to learn from each other’s operations, adding that they share significant similarities.

Soderberg said there is a lot of knowledge to be shared in the areas of oil and gas.

She said the two countries’ port teams agreed to share experiences earlier this week and exchanged contacts.

“Our doors are open to receive your staff. Our areas of interest are the cruise terminals. We do not have dedicated service. We currently receive the cruise vessels in the multipurpose terminal.

“It will be good to get your experience. We also do a lot of transit with our hinterland countries, including Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, and serve some of our coastal neighbours like Togo, Benin, Nigeria and Abijian.

“We can also share some experiences. We are now developing rail and need to learn from you.

“I am told your team needs knowledge on marine operation. We will share information with the Regional Maritime University and offer attachments with our marine operations,” Soderberg said.

She said Ghana has also successfully embarked on the implementation of the Maritime Single Window, a digital reporting platform that simplifies the exchange of mandatory information between the industry and government agencies, while supporting the long-term digitalisation of the shipping industry.

Soderberg said this has reduced clearance time and a number of regulatory agencies.

The delegation attended the fifth session of the Namibia-Ghana Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation this week.

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