By Ebrima Jallow Bai Lamin Jobe, transport and works minister, has talked up the potential of West Africa’s maritime industry, saying if robustly and well-coordinated, it can end youth unemployment and irregular migration. He was speaking at the 21st board of governors meeting of the Regional Maritime University which ended at the Kairaba Beach hotel recently. He said: “It is important that we place great emphasis on maritime transport, because it is key component in our inter-modal transport network in our sub region.” According to him, “increasing our capacity in the industry will facilitate greater movement of goods within our region, in a more effective and efficient manner, thus boosting international and intra-regional trade.” The minister said West Africa’s economic prospects in the industry remain great because of the natural resources along its coast. “Activity in the oil and gas sector has increased vastly and with it comes increased risk to our marine environment and eco-system,” he told delegates. “There is need for greater effort in mitigating the effects of marine pollution from shipping activities. This makes effective implementation of IMO Conventions in our national laws a collective responsibility.” He recognised the importance of the Regional Maritime University, (RMU) as it remains “a relevant entity” in contributing towards capacity building for the industry, and “providing better opportunities for our population”. Daniel Nii Kwartei Titus Glover, the deputy minister for transport of the Republic of Ghana, highlighted the significance of the meeting, saying it provides platform for the sharing of ideas and discussion on the development of the university. “This also gives us a great opportunity as Africans to promote the spirit of regional integration that is geared towards the socio-economic development of our countries,” Mr Glover said. “For decades, Ghana has been very active in the efforts both at the level of the African Union (AU) and Ecowas aimed at promoting the unity and integration of the African continent and therefore sees the RMU as representing the best example of our regional collaborative efforts.” This is the reason, according to Glover, that Ghana is strengthening its commitment to the success of the university, and will endeavour to make the requisite resources available to support the institution’s advancement and in particular, its infrastructural development. James F Kollie, deputy chairman of the Board of Governors and chancellor, RMU, used the occasion to congratulate President Barrow, who was conferred Honorary Doctorate Degree by the RMU. “…President Barrow has become the first recipient of an Honorary Doctorate Degree among the list of founding and current serving presidents of member states for the Regional Maritime University. I also congratulate former president, Sir Dawda Jawara who will be receiving the same award and in his capacity as one of the founding presidents of this great university.” This year marked the 60th anniversary of the RMU as a maritime education and training institute. And Kollie said the conferment of Honorary Doctorate Degrees on sitting and founding presidents of member states was one of the major highlights to commemorate the occasion. “The celebration of this feat is a reminder of the commitment, will and synergy shown by member states of the RMU over the years and exemplify how we can harness our efforts towards the development of our region and the African continent,” he stated.]]>
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