The President of the Republic of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama has commissioned the Vessel Traffic Management Information System at the Head office of the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA).
The VTMIS is an integrated system established to enhance continuous electronic surveillance on Ghana’s maritime domain as well as the inland water ways to ensure safety of Navigation, guard against armed robbery, illicit traffic of human and goods, and also assist distressed vessels at Sea.
The project setup is comprised of the National Control Centre, which is located at the GMA’s Head office in Accra, and eight other remote sensor sites at Keta, Big Ada, Tema, Winneba, Cape Coast, Takoradi, Axim and Half Assini. There are also three Remote Base Stations specifically for the Volta Lake at Yeji, Kete Krachi and Anum.
Speaking at the event the President, emphasized the need to protect the territorial waters of Ghana against piracy and drug trade. He said ‘‘in 2012/2013, reported incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea exceeded the Horn of Africa’’ and noted that this caused the United Nations Security Council to advice nations along the Gulf of Guinea to collaborate to fight the menace. On drugs he mentioned that because of the stringent measures being taken by the United States, drug traders had found our part of the waters a convenient rout of transport for their illicit trade.
Mrs. Dzifa Attivor, Minister of Transport adding her voice to the importance of the project stressed that maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea region had caused considerable concern to international shipping due to the growing trend of unlawful acts against the safety of navigation and other offshore activities.
She stated that ‘the management of the VTMIS system involves the collaboration ofvarious stakeholders with statutory mandates in the security and safety management of our maritime domain. The involvement of these key stakeholders in the VTMIS project is a clear manifestation of the cooperation by Government agencies to pool resources together to find solutions to the challenges confronting us as a nation’’.
A representative of the Eltel Networks Corporation, who also spoke on behalf of the Finnish Ambassador, Mr. Antti Lassila, thanked the Government and the GMA for the opportunity given to the Corporation to implement the comprehensive Coastal Surveillance System.
He touched on the national and international benefit of the project to the country, saying ‘we are truly pleased this project has been completed in a timely manner, and would like to thank the Ghana Maritime Authority for their excellent and continued support in making this project a success’’.
He explained that the state-of-the–art system would enable the Authority to have a complete overview of all maritime traffic within coastal waters, to enable relevant stakeholders the opportunity to carry out complete surveillance and monitoring of all vessel movements within defined and specific areas of concern.
Excerpt of article taken from Ghana Maritime Authority site
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