By Richard Attenkah
Mrs. Joyce Bawah Mogtari, Deputy Minister for Transport, has called on stakeholders in the maritime and transport trade, especially the media, to help her ministry fight against high seas piracy in the country.
She noted: ‚ÄúOne growing canker in the global maritime trade is the surge of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. As a country, we must all be concerned about this, particularly, as we are now producing and exporting oil.
‚ÄúWe must be alert and develop antennas to detect any sound of such vices. I believe our news producers, such as the Maritime and Transport Digest, will spearhead the crusade against high seas piracy in Ghana.‚Äù
The Deputy Minister for Transport made the call when she launched a new weekly newspaper, Maritime and Transport Digest, at Tema over the weekend.
The 16-page newspaper, which has Mr. Kennedy Mornah as its Managing Editor, is expected to focus exclusively on the maritime trade and logistics industry, locally and internationally.
Mrs. Bawah Mogtari disclosed that her ministry was in the process of developing the necessary legislature intended to take care of the needs of the country‚Äôs emerging oil and gas industry.
She noted that as part of its plans to make Ghana the transportation hub in the sub-region, the Transport Ministry was determined to pursue the development of transport infrastructure in the country to improve service delivery in the sector.
She commended the Managing Editor and his team for the production of such a specialised publication, adding: ‚ÄúYou can only be objective if you are impartial in your reportage. I urge you to take all the necessary steps to investigate and write your stories, so you become a credible and reliable paper.‚Äù
Dr. Kofi Mbiah, Executive Director of the Ghana Shipping Council, explained that because journalists view happenings in the maritime transport sector as too technical, they had not taken keen interest in reporting issues in the sector in the media.
He, however, hinted that there had been a gradual shift from that position in recent times, saying some media houses now devote whole pages and programmes to maritime and trade-related issues, saying ‚ÄúThis is worthy of commendation.‚Äù
Dr. Mbiah cautioned: ‚ÄúTo survive as a newspaper in this rather competitive era, would require appropriate packaging of worthy new items, timeliness, content and quality.
‚ÄúThese would be the driving force for sustainability and growth, and should thus form the bedrock upon which the paper is anchored.‚Äù
He was hopeful that the newspaper would provide the platform for highlighting the broad spectrum of issues in the industry, specifically, issues that affect the competitiveness of shippers‚Äô investments and ownership of ships among others.
In his welcome address, Mr. Mornah noted that the new weekly newspaper would be a reliable source of maritime information, which could be used by maritime trade and logistics players, including practitioners, students, researchers and the general public.