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General News
Maritime Academy attains University status 6/8/2007
Accra, June 7, GNA - Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, Minister of Harbours and Railways and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Regional Maritime Academy (RMA), on Thursday said the Academy had been lifted to the status of a university and would therefore be awarding degrees on its own.

He said this would help in the capacity building in both human and capital resource and in all member-countries in the sub-region. Professor Ameyaw-Akumfi said this at a meeting of board members, management and students of the RMA.

A special lecture on "Preparedness, Response and Co-operation of Maritime Emergencies: Sub-regional Dimensions and Status," was for the first time included in the meeting to afford RMA students the opportunity to learn from the experience of maritime experts in the sub-region.

The Minister noted that there was the need to recruit young lecturers with preferably doctorial or professional qualification to replace the aging ones due to the increase in the number of students in order to maintain academic standards.

He said the government of Ghana in response to physical infrastructure was expanding existing facilities and building new ones and therefore called on member states and donor agencies to supplement the efforts.

Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi comme nded the management and staff of the institution for their immense contribution to the current university

status of RMA and for their initiative and efforts at implementing some infrastructure projects like the VSAT Backbone to improve telecommunication.

"This will provide direct satellite links to the various academic departments and offices which would enhance learning and research in the school."

He said Ghana would also continue to contribute towards the development of the Academy''s capital projects in addition to three million dollars already allocated for the construction of a new administrative block and library complex.

Prof. Chidi Ibe, Executive Secretary of Interim Guinea Current Commission, who delivered the special lecture, charged member-countries to take maritime emergency and safety at sea more seriously, saying that with the increase in trade between countries within the region there was need to ensure safety at sea. He called for cohesion in regional maritime laws, operational standards, training and the use of maritime language to ensure effective and proficient response to maritime emergency in territorial waters and across trans-boundary waters.

"It is expected that our sub-region would be better placed to intervene jointly in cases of major maritime accidents either in the territorial waters of a single nation or in cases of a trans-boundary nature affecting more than one nation.

"However, our ability to deal with such eventualities would be greatly enhanced by the member countries of the sub-region taking steps to ratify regional and international conventions." President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia in a speech read on his behalf asked management of RMA to go beyond the provision of maritime courses saying related courses that would enhance capacities in information technology should be introduced to attract more students and lecturers, especially from his country.

Mr John S. Morlu, Commissioner of the Bureau of Maritime Affairs of Liberia, appealed to RMA member-states to support Liberia''s bid for a place in the Council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). Sierra Leone presented a cheque of US$55,000 to the RMA management as part payment of their annual contribution of US$135,000.Source:

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