Thursday, July 11, 2024

Africa needs united front to influence positive changes – Chief of Staff

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The Chief of Staff at Ghana’s Presidency, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare says Africa needs a united front to influence positive changes and attain recognition at the global level.

She said nurturing a unified front would serve as a powerful tool for attaining positive outcomes in all developmental processes.

The Chief of Staff said this on Thursday at the Ministry of Transport’s opening ceremony of the 16th Extraordinary Session of General Assembly of Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA).

Aside discussing maritime problems facing Member States and generating viable solutions, the highlight of the gathering will also be the election of a new Secretary General.

Madam Osei-Opare said over 90 per cent of Africa’s international trade, imports and exports were conducted by sea, and for Ghanaians and nations across the sub-region, seaports served not only for domestic trade but also trade with other landlocked countries and the international community.

She said, however, Africa faced many maritime related challenges, with the biggest of them being maritime insecurity.

Madam Osei-Opare said the Gulf of Guinea had become a dangerous area for both merchant and fishing vessels, and was fast becoming a breeding ground for pirates.

She said armed robbery, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing practices were also on the rise in the waters, and could only be solved through cooperation between nations to fish out the criminals.

“Again, the Sub-region by virtue of its geographical location has all the benefits of the Gulf of Guinea, including its stores of oil. The area, which stretches from the Coast of Senegal to Angola although notorious for illicit activities, is still one of the most preferred routes for ships transporting goods through Africa.”

“It is, therefore, our responsibility to protect this area and I implore members to urgently take steps to address any security issues. I have no doubt that MOWCA would be at the forefront of leading an effort to improve safety and security of our territorial waters,” she added.

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