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Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) collaborate to strengthen Ghana’s maritime sector.  

About 90 percent of Ghana’s - and West Africa’s – international trade is handled by sea. Further development of Ghana and the region is, therefore, dependent on Ghana continuously strengthening its maritime sector and its maritime governance framework.

Denmark is a seafaring nation; home to the fifth biggest merchant vessel fleet in the world. In 2015, the Danish Maritime Authority established a strategic sector cooperation with the Ghana Maritime Authority and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority. The purpose of the collaboration was to support Ghana’s efforts to become the Sub-Saharan maritime hub, levering on the potential of the new and advanced Meridian Port Services (MPS) Terminal in Tema. With its inauguration in June 2019, Ghana became home to the deepest, largest, and most technically advanced container terminal in Africa.

Maritime Strategic Sector Cooperation, Phase I

The first phase of the Strategic Sector Cooperation in the maritime sector focused on the establishment of an e-navigation platform, enhancement of maritime safety, implementation and enforcement of IMO regulations and standards, as well as competence development of Ghanaian ship inspectors, sea pilots and tugboat masters in both Ghana and Denmark. The activities were implemented from 2015-2018 and key achievements included:

  • Ghana leapfrogging into the future by being only the fourth country in the world, and the first in Africa, to introduce advanced e-navigation technology, benefitting all users in the maritime domain from large commercial vessels to small fishing boats.
  • Enhanced capacity of Ghanaian Harbour Pilots focused on the safe handling of the large vessels calling port in the new MPS Tema Port.
  • Increased focus on the implementation of IMO standards
  • Mutual improvement of vessel inspectors in Denmark and Ghana through reciprocal seminars and workshops.

Maritime Strategic Sector Cooperation, Phase II

Launched in 2019, the second phase of the strategic sector cooperation in the maritime sector continues to focus on the positive, bilateral cooperation on IMO compliance, e-navigation and capacity development of the Port in Tema. Key achievements include:

  • Experts from the DMA and the GMA continue to simulate internal and external audits of maritime actors to strengthen Ghana’s international position as a leading maritime actor.
  • Tugboat captains from Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) further improved their qualifications in Denmark by using advanced ship simulators capable of mirroring the conditions of Tema MPS Terminal 3. Simulations enable tugboat masters to test the limits of the tugboats when handling bigger container vessels in different conditions without running the risk of damaging people or property.
  • The e-navigation platform developed in Phase I is further enhanced through inter-agency collaboration with key maritime stakeholders in Ghana with a view to ensuring a more effective and safe maritime environment in Ghanaian waters.

Links to partners in Denmark


Thomas Raahauge Norup

Sector Counsellor, Maritime