The candidates successfully defended their final dissertations for the TrainForTrade Port Training Programme on 9 and 10 April.
The dissertations were defended before panels of experts that included representatives from UNCTAD and the Port of Cork (Ireland), as well as senior managers from Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA). The graduates are middle-level managers from public and private entities operating at the ports of Tema and Takoradi.
UNCTAD's Port Training Programme supports port communities in developing countries in their efforts to provide efficient and competitive port management services. Effective port management increases trade flows and fosters economic development. UNCTAD research has shown that greater efficiency can be achieved if middle managers are trained in modern port-management methods.
The Port Training Programme in Ghana has now completed its second cycle of training. Thirty-four managers from the port communities of Tema and Takoradi have been certified since the programme's inception in 2009.
Each cycle spans two years, and consists of 240 hours of classroom training, a series of examinations, port visits, case studies, and a final dissertation. Writing the dissertation provides participants with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired. They are required to identify a specific problem or challenge for the port community (related, for example, to management, organization, the environment, or security), to analyse it in the context of the organization's activities, and to come up with realistic proposals for improvement. During the dissertation preparation process, the participants are assisted by senior managers who act as their mentors.
Director General awarding the top participant
The closing ceremony was presided over by GPHA's Director General, Richard A. Y. Anamoo. Mr. Anamoo said that the programme was an integral part of GPHA's human resources management strategy. The final dissertations not only allowed the graduates to immediately apply what they had learned during the programme; they also provided senior management with in-depth analyses of the challenges that their ports faced - and with detailed proposals for improvement, he said.
Peter Amoo-Bediako, a senior marketing officer for GPHA and a recent graduate, said that the port training programme "has positioned me to make valuable contributions to the strategic direction of the ports of Ghana and the port community as a whole." During the closing ceremony, Mr. Amoo-Bediako was cited as the top participant in the most recent training cycle.
The English-speaking network of the Port Training Programme is supported by Irish Aid, the Dublin Port Company, the Port of Cork, and the Belfast Harbour Commissioners. The programme operates through four language-based networks (English, French, Portuguese and Spanish), in Africa, Asia and Latin America.