The Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders is making a case for the reintroduction of a national shipping line, the Black Star Line.
According to the institute, this will help bring competition amongst the various shipping lines while helping to address the issue of the depreciating cedi due to significant funds that are repatriated out of the country by these international liners.
Speaking to Citi Business News, a member of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders Communication Team, Jacob Agyeman said the government ought to prioritise bringing back the national shipping line in the interest of the local currency.
“Now we have AfCFTA, we can even take advantage of that. The government sets up Black Star line, then at least the transhipment cargoes will be transported by Black Star Line. The advantage here is you create employment for your people. You can even help stabilize this cedi that we are complaining about because most of these multinationals cause capital flight as at the end of the day they send their monies out of the country. If the Black Star line is here, the money stays here because if it makes $1,000,000 or $2,000,000, a chunk of it stays here. It stabilizes the Cedi against the dollar.”
He added that the commencement of the operations of Black Star Liine will also create jobs while regulating the sector.
“I’m sure they may have policies in place, but the implementation is the issue. We must begin to see practicals, they must set it up, and it must work. And I believe this is the best moment for us to revive Black Star lines, create employment for your people, stabilize your cedi, and then create competition so that your people will get quality service. There’s no competition.”
Ghana has not had a shipping line since the early 90’s when its Black Star Line folded up after some challenges with operating the entity.
There have been many calls from various stakeholders for a national shipping line across successive governments, but not much has been done yet.