The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has begun the cycle of a four-model training in port management for 27 middle managers in the ports of the country.
It was designed to support port communities in developing countries to develop their human resource capacity for efficient and competitive port operations management across the West African sub-region.
The programme which is being funded through the Irish Aid with support from the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) has representatives from the GPHA, stevedoring companies, shipping lines and the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarding (GIFF).
The programme, according to organisers, also serves as a platform for participants to share knowledge and expertise and further strengthen talent management and human resource development.
Participants are being taken through international trade and transport, organisation of a port system, functioning of a port system, future challenges to ports, methods and tools of port management, among others.
Apart from Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia, Togo and Benin, some African countries are also benefiting under the programme, which began in 2007.
Currently, over 80 per cent of international trade is done through the port system, making skills development for players in the business vital.
As such, the sector’s coordination is said to impact on trade volume and transport costs, which equally impacts on job sustainability.
The GPHA is seeking to achieve a container throughput target of 800,000 tonnage at the end of 2016.
The Director of Port at the GPHA, Mr Jacob Kobla Adorkor, indicated that with Ghana’s ports undergoing major transformation to be the biggest along the coast of West Africa, it became necessary to ensure that efficient and competent staff were also in place to ensure that performance targets were met.
“As we go about these processes, we need transformed and efficient staff and stakeholders to ensure service delivery would be top-notch,” he said.
Mr Adorkor was of the view that the introduction of automated machinery such as electric-powered handling equipment, automatic guided vehicles and optical character recognition devices had as well made it imperative for port managers to meet specific tasks.
“Modern facilities are being introduced into port operations, and expansion drive to have more space for port operations requires attitudinal change, more qualified staff, hence our determination for continuous investment in capacity building that would ensure that workers carry the vision of the company along with management,” Mr Adorkor pointed out.
A Director from the Port of Dublin, Mr Jon Moore, who took participants through the first session of the fourth cycle of the programme, indicated that the courses were designed to help participants acquire analytical skills, as well as realise problems in their working environment.
“The idea is to ensure an efficient staff in place. When efficiency is in place, traffic will increase, and this would fall into Ghana’s vision of making its ports, ports of destination,” Mr Moore said.