Maritime Authority to establish security plan to increase offerings

The Ghana Maritime Authority says it seeks to establish an integrated security plan to help improve upon its contributions to the economy.

According to the authority, the plan, which is also known as the National Integrated Maritime Strategy (NIMS), will provide a clearer approach to maritime issues with increased coordination between different policy areas.

Speaking to JoyBusiness at the Security Governance Initiative Steering Committee Meeting held in Accra, the Deputy Director of Maritime Security at the Ghana Maritime Authority, Captain Emmanuel Ankamah (Rtd) said, “We have a document for the SGI called Joint Country Action Plan which is a document brought together by the United States and Ghana that indicated some objectives for the various focal areas; and for the focal area of maritime security, the G-CAP identified the end state as the preparation and implementation of an Integrated Maritime Strategy for Ghana.”

He added, “The strategy is meant to bring the country at the place where we’ll be able to harness all the benefits. We are looking forward to completing everything by June next year; when we get the plan, I think the next thing to do is to align the plan with a national budget.”

Capt. Rtd. Ankamah said the country’s maritime space still leaves many resources untapped hence proper management of the sector could support in the country’s development efforts, more so, the government’s ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda.

The strategy has become opting in the wake of threats of piracy and increased sea-borne crimes which, if not curtailed, will undermine the viability of the booming maritime sector to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.

The National Integrated Maritime Strategy is being championed by the Security Governance Initiative (SGI), a technical multi-agency body set up by the United States government to improve maritime security, border management and cybercrime in the country.

Timelines

The Authority said it seeks to engage some consultants to assist the Maritime Focus Area Group to come up with the strategy. It looks forward to completing everything by June next year. Captain Rtd. Ankamah says the group is committed to putting together a draft by end of December this year.

By March next year, the group will hold some stakeholder engagements on the draft to seek the views and inputs of relevant institutions and ministries and the population at large. In furtherance to that, the group will seek the draft’s validation in order to implement the plan by end of June.

The Security Governance Initiative (SGI) is a programme between the Government of Ghana and the United States of America to help the country improve in some specific areas of security.

It has identified three (3) main areas with a fourth supporting area; the first focus area is Maritime Security, Border Security and Cyber Security whereas a Cross-cutting area known as Justice Delivery.

The Steering Committee Meeting brought representatives from both countries to coordinate the SGI activities. The committee meets once every six months to receive reviews on the progress made in the various focus areas and further decide the way forward.

Source: Joy Business

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