By Edzorna Francis Mensah
The Minister of Transportation Kwaku Ofori Asiamah has noted that the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), in pursuance of its statutory objectives has domesticated several international maritime instruments to ensure the training, recruitment, and welfare of Ghanaian seafarers in line with international best practices.
According to him, the GMA has constantly ensured that Ghana continues to stay on the International Maritime Organization (IMO) list of countries that have given complete and full effect to the International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification and
Watchkeeping (STCW) for seafarers.
He said this Convention sets out the minimum standards required to work on board ships and “the latest approval by the Maritime Safety Committee of the IMO was in May 2021.
This means seafarers holding certificates issued by the Ghanaian Administration meets international standards”.
Speaking in Parliament to respond to a question post by MP for Tema East, Isaac Ashai Odamtten on ‘the operational effectiveness of sailors and crew recruitment, their safety, and general welfare, having regard to the Ghana Maritime Authority Act and international best practice’, the sector Minister on 30th June 2022 submitted disclosed that, a Memoranda of Understanding have been signed with over thirty-five (35) major ship owning countries per Regulation 1/10 of the International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification and
And, “by this MoU, Ghanaian seafarers can be employed on the ships of signing parties.
The welfare of seafarers is very crucial in the shipping industry as it is closely related to the safety of navigation and property”.
The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC 2006) which establishes seafarer welfare including minimum working and living standards is implemented domestically through the Ghana Shipping Maritime Labour Regulation 2015 (LI 2226).
Under these Regulations, a number of companies have been licensed as Seafarer Recruitment and Placement Agencies (SRPA).
Their licenses are renewed annually upon an audit to verify provisions in the Regulation are adhered to.
It must be noted that not all seafarers are employed through the SRPA.
“The GMA by its statutes ensures that the training, recruitment and welfare of seafarers are done in conformity with national and international standards”, stressed.