The European Union-funded Twin Cities in Sustainable Partnership Project (TCSPP) is facilitating the establishment of a Maritime Training Centre at Takoradi Technical University (TTU) in collaboration with the Maritime Institute of Palermo, Italy.
The Maritime Training Centre, upon completion, would provide professional maritime skills training and certification with the International Maritime Organization’s standards.
During a courtesy call on the Vice-Chancellor of TTU by a delegation from Palermo, Italy, and the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis under the auspices of the Twin-Cities Sustainable Partnership Project, Aziz Mahmoud, the Governance and Social Accountability Officer of the project, briefed the Vice-Chancellor on the outcomes of an initial technical meeting between the Dean of TTU’s Faculty of Engineering, Prof. John Bentil, the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Applied Arts, Dr. Owusu Ansah, and the Director of the Maritime Training Institute of Palermo, Francesco De Santis.
He highlighted some proposed checklists required for the proposed Maritime Training Centre in accordance with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) standards to enable TTU to conduct internal competency assessments of the key personnel needed.
“The proposed training centre would require a psychologist, marine health and safety instructor, medical doctor, swimming instructor, and a ship captain. On infrastructure requirements, three well-equipped classrooms, two water tanks for fire safety simulations, and standard swimming pools for the training of the Mariners will be needed.
TTU is supposed to be guided by the checklist to conduct an internal assessment of capabilities and resources to meet the International Maritime Organization standards for the training centre,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor of TTU, Rev. Professor John Frank Eshun, in a reaction to the proposals, expressed enthusiasm and high hopes for a prompt commencement of the project. He re-emphasized TTU’s readiness to embrace the project.
“I was a bit worried when it was delayed. I wanted it to be fast. This thing that we are developing, I think it will be able to boost the region’s investment and other opportunities. We are ready, so if you can give us timelines, it will be very helpful for us to also prepare and meet those timelines and follow up,” he noted.
The leader of the Palermo delegation, Francesco Campagna, who is the Honorary Councilor of Ghana in Sicily, mentioned that setting up the Maritime Training Centre at Takoradi Technical University will enable students to obtain internationally recognized certification within Ghana.
“This school could be a very important centre. I can imagine that the students who are interested in working on the ship, in a drilling station, or on a cruise ship need this certification. Instead of going to England or somewhere else, they can get the certification right here at home, which is very important. It could also be attractive to other countries,” he stated.
Francesco Campagna, who is also the President of the Ghana-Sicily Business Forum, expressed anticipation for increased opportunities and collaborations that could come from the project.
“Starting from this kind of collaboration, we can work on other projects of equal importance. We can start discussing Italian schools in Ghana because we have certificates for obtaining high learning in Italian Language,” he added.
John Laste, the Visibility and Communication Officer of the Twin-Cities in Sustainable Partnership Project, who doubles as the Public Relations Officer for the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolis, assured the Takoradi Technical University Vice-Chancellor of the STMA’s commitment to securing accreditation for the Maritime Training Centre.
Present at the meeting were the Registrar of TTU, Dr. Moses Maclean Abnory, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Applied Arts, Dr. Owusu Ansah Ankra, who is also the TTU representative at the TCSPP, and Dr. Ramos Asafo-Adjei, the Dean of the International Programmes and External Linkages Office of the TTU.
Earlier, the visiting delegation toured the Jubilee Technical Training Centre at TTU, where they inspected facilities and the site for the fire safety simulation process, as well as visited the swimming pools at the Western Naval Command in Sekondi.
The Maritime Training Center upon completion will be one of the success stories made possible by the sister-city cooperation between Sekondi-Takoradi and Palermo of Italy under the auspices of the European Union-funded Twin-Cities in Sustainable Partnership Project, TCSPP.
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