President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the continuous investment in a modernized robust logistics chain infrastructure is one of the surest ways of catapulting the country into becoming the world’s leading exporter of agricultural produce.
He noted that despite the huge potential in the area of agriculture due to favorable weather conditions, ample water supply, and fertile lands, the country was yet to assert itself as one of the leading exporters of agricultural produce due to the lack of robust chain infrastructure.
“I believe firmly that Ghana has the potential to become the world’s leading exporter of agriculture produce, thanks in part to favorable weather conditions, ample water supply, and fertile land. However, what we have lacked over the years is a modernized robust logistic chain infrastructure required to help realize this potential,” he emphasized.
President Akufo-Addo disclosed this at the inauguration of 15 additional gantry cranes for the operations of Meridian Port Services (MPS) at Tema on Wednesday.
The inauguration of the gantry cranes also initiated the second phase of the Tema port expansion project which would increase its capacity from the current one million square meters to 1, 270,000square meters.
The President said the MPS Terminal 3 project was a good example of a logistic platform that would bring the vision of becoming a leading exporter of agricultural produce to fruition.
He said investing in critical port infrastructure provided the foundation for industry to create jobs and foster the export-driven economy the country sought to build.
He added that it was imprudent for a country like Ghana to continue to be import-driven and dependent-economy despite having the capacity to be self-reliant and create jobs.
President Akufo-Addo noted that the emergence of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area secretariat in Accra represented a historic opportunity for Africa to strengthen immeasurably, African Trade as a powerful avenue for developing Africa’s economic and material potential.
“A successful AfCFTA will mean that Africa’s industrial exports will be diversified thus moving away from undue reliance on extractive commodities and imports,” he stated.
The Chief Executive Officer of MPS, Mr Mohammed Samara, said the expansion works when completed would position the Tema Port to stand shoulder to shoulder with the world’s most renowned ports and compete favourably with the largest ports on the African continent.
He said “We hold the firm belief that, post-upgrade, with our geographical advantage, Tema Port will assert itself as the maritime hub for trade along the West Coast of Africa. Our new port facility will possess the capability to efficiently handle some of the largest container vessels, ships carrying over 18,000 TEUs.”
Mr Samara said the magnitude of the expansion work required a lot of dedication, as such they had thoroughly chosen top engineering consultants and contractors while placing a strong emphasis on promoting local content.
He explained that the project would be executed in collaboration with AECOM, EIFFAGE, De Simone Ltd with Key Architects, and CONSAR Ltd.
The CEO said the construction would be carried out in phases and anticipated to be completed by the end of 2025, with the first section slated for handover to the operations team by July 2024.
The Regional Managing Director of African Ports Meridian Terminals (APMT), Mr Igor Van Den Essen, said APMT was deeply committed to the holistic development of human resources, as it formed the foundation for delivering higher standards of customer service.