In the wake of a successful electoral season, the dynamic Maritime Chief, Mr. Paul Sobba Massaquoi, wasted no time returning to action, leaving a significant impact on the annual general conference of the Regional Maritime University (RMU). Collaborating with esteemed figures from the Ministry of Transport and Aviation (MTA) and the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA), his presence reverberated.
At the forefront of this delegation was Al-Hassan Kharamoh, a senior permanent secretary of the transport ministry, accompanied by Mr. Rex Bonapha, the deputy minister of transport and Aviation. Their representation embodied the vision of the newly appointed Minister of Transport and Aviation, Amb. Fanday Turay. Known for his exceptional academic prowess, Turay is poised to steer the nation toward the goals of President Bio, particularly in realizing the ambitions of the country's blue economy.
Following fruitful deliberations at the RMU conference, the Executive Director (ED), Paul S Massaquoi, initiated a proactive move by convening a robust meeting with key university officials. Together with the Vice Chancellor, the Registrar, and other senior staff, the ED discussed recent strides made by the Maritime Administration. Among these achievements was the domestication of the STCW convention and its subsequent presentation at the International
Maritime Organization (IMO) in London. The ED reaffirmed his commitment to establishing the Maritime Academy in Sierra Leone and sought the RMU's full support and expertise.
RMU promptly applauded Sierra Leone, specifically the ED, for these remarkable advancements. The university pledged unwavering support, setting the stage for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that promises to train Sierra Leonean seafarers and elevate the nation's maritime domain. This initiative anticipates increased employment opportunities, the rise of careers, and greater inclusion of women in maritime.
During his time in Ghana, the ED participated in a UNODC-sponsored seminar on Maritime Piracy and security. This seminar delved into crucial matters, such as integrating UNCLOS and other pertinent maritime security conventions into Sierra Leone's legal framework. The ED championed a case for enhancing maritime law education, proposing collaborations with legal experts, including the Attorney General & Minister of Justice and the Anti-Corruption Commissioner.
Additionally, the ED engaged with the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), fostering cross-border dialogue and sharing insights to fortify both countries' maritime interests. The ED's vision centers on a public-private sector discourse to combat corruption in seaports, uniting governmental and business stakeholders across nations. These discussions draw on experiences shared between Sierra Leone and Ghana, along with guidance from the World Maritime University (WMU), Sweden.
As the meeting concluded, an agreement in principle emerged to sign an MOU between Sierra Leone and Ghana, focusing on human capital development and implementing GMA's successful model within SLMA. This collaborative effort promises a revitalized SLMA, benefitting from GMA's expertise through working visits and human capital training.
In summary, Mr. Paul Sobba Massaquoi, the Executive Director of Sierra Leone Maritime Administration, has propelled the nation into a new era of maritime partnerships. His commitment to the blue economy, his resolve to honor President Bio's vision, and his unyielding dedication to Sierra Leone's progress position him as a trailblazing figure in maritime governance.
This comprehensive endeavor underscores Massaquoi's 21st-century leadership, solidifying his role as the driving force behind Sierra Leone's Blue Economy.
Credit: PR Department, SLMA- Ferry Terminal, Government Wharf