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FROM SHORE TO SEA ISSUE 006

GH¢ 5.00

June 2011

The Regional Maritime University

ACHIEVING THE

GOAL OF CLEANER OCEANS ORGANIZATIONS

THAT OPERATE IN A PORT

How many organizations does it take to operate a port?

0 011120 111101

10010

• Maritime ladies association • How To tie a tie • cultural queen


REGIONAL MARITIME UNIVERSITY ACCRA, GHANA The Regional Maritime University (RMU), a leading maritime university of first choice in maritime training and education in the sub-region, continues to run academic and professional programmes, to produce high level skills for the maritime and allied industries.

The University offers the following programmes: ACADEMIC PROGRAMMES:

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (BSc.) 1. MARINE ENGINEERING 2. ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING 3. BSc. NAUTICAL SCIENCE 4. PORTS AND SHIPPING ADMINISTRATION 5. COMPUTER ENGINEERING 6. B. A. LOGISTICS AND SHIPPING MANAGEMENT (is run in collaboration with Shanghai Maritime University, (SMU) China. Level 300 of the programme will be taken China).

Target Market for Degree Programmes • • • • •

Senior Secondary/High School leavers G.C.E. ‘A’ Level Holders Former RMU Diploma holders Mature Students Technical/Polytechnic

DURATION OF DEGREE PROGRAMMES The duration of the Degree Programmes is four (4) years of eight (8) semesters. However, students could be admitted into Level 200 or 300 based on the possession of higher qualifications relevant to the course and on individual assessment.

OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR REGIONAL MARITIME UNIVERSITY P. O. BOX GP 1115 ACCRA, GHANA 2

M.A. IN PORTS AND SHIPPING ADMINISTRATION, M.A. IN MARITIME LAW

(These programmes are run in collaboration with the School of Research and Graduate Studies, University of Ghana, Legon and Shanghai Maritime University, China respectively)

Target Market / Duration

Senior management personnel in Ports and Shipping organizations and all persons interested in making a career in the maritime industry. One (1) Year of Two (2) Semesters duration.

DIPLOMA IN PORTS AND SHIPPING MANAGEMENT

Our Diploma programme is open to people interested in the maritime industry or shipping offices of corporate organisations.

OIL & GAS SAFETY TRAINING

RMU has the capacity to conduct Basic Offshore Safety Induction & Emergency Training (BOSIET) standard course in Sea Survival, Fire-fighting & Self Rescue, Offshore Safety Induction, Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET) with emergency Breathing System [EBS] and First Aid.

TO JOIN RMU OR MAKE ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT:

MAIN TELS: +233-302-712775/ 712343 / 718225 Ext. 136, 133 or 139 DIRECT TEL: +233-302-714070; 719390 TEL/FAX: +233-302-714070; 712047; EMAILS: registrar@rmu-edu.com marketing@rmu-edu.gh WEBSITE:www.rmu-edu.com (temporary off)


inside

FROM SHORE TO SEA ORGANIZATIONS THAT OPERATE IN A PORT

How many organizations does it take to operate a port? What are the responsibilities of each organization? Which organizations help with safety and the environment?

oil policy okra Piracy

Article 101 of the United Nations Convention on Law Of the Sea (UNCLOS) defines piracy as:

MARITIME LADIES ASSOCIATION

Regional Maritime University ladies this year saw the need to come together to form an association

the hopefuls are relatives (I live in Accra, a very busy part of Ghana)

HOW TO TIE A TIE

What you need to know •The most traditional tie knot is called the Windsor. •The easiest, most casual tie knot is the Four-in-Hand. •As a man, you should know how to tie a tie.


editorial board members

Abena Oppon-Kusi Chairperson

Anab Abudu Editor In Chief

Alex Darkwa Financial Director

Daniel otu

Production Director

Aloni Winners Alebna Deputy Editor

Gifty NA Mingle Executive Secretary


Nicholas Clerk

Ofori Amanfo Isaac

Princewill Sam

Public Relations Officer

Deputy Financial Director

Marketing Director

EDITORIAL

Abena Oppon-Kusi


ORGANIZATIONS THAT OPERATE IN A PORT How many organizations does it take to operate a port? What are the responsibilities of each organization? Which organizations help with safety and the environment? Which organizations help with the operation of the ships? Which organizations help with the movement of cargo? Perhaps these and many others may be the questions, a person new to the maritime industry or business may ask and a journey through this piece will provide the answers.

Role of a port A port is a key business in any port state’s economy. It provides the link between sea transportation and land freight. A port is a place where’ cargoes are transferred between ships and trucks and/or railway wagons. A port provides storage areas on land, sheds, wharfs, piers, ship channels and arrangements for ships to dock. It has the correct

equipment for ships to safely load and unload their cargoes. A ship must arrive at the correct place in the port where its new cargo is waiting to be loaded or where its cargo can be unloaded. The faster the ship can get out of the port, the more money the ship owner will save. There may be a need to load fuel, food and water. Rubbish and oily sludge may need to be placed into proper disposal containers (port reception facilities). A port has equipment to help transport the cargo to storage areas. The cargo will be stored until trains, trucks or other ships transport it to its next destination


WHO RUNS A PORT? Ports in Ghana and the world generally are managed by the State government or by a public or private company. It might be called an authority, corporation, company etc. and in Ghana’s case, the Ghana Port And Harbors Authority is responsible for the management of its ports. It is the responsibility of this organization to make sure the port runs smoothly. • They make the regulations (rules) that the ships and organizations using the port must follow. • Through the Harbor Master they control the movement of ships in and out of the port and make sure that ships remain safe. • They collect the fees and charges from those who use the port e.g. lighthouse dues, etc. • They make sure that all matters that involve safety and protecting the environment are being looked after. They try to prevent problems but have in place ways to reduce the damage if a problem occurs.

SAFETY AND THE ENVIRONMENT Inspections of ships

A ship’s flag State is the country in which a ship is registered, The ship flies the country’s national flag at its stern (rear of a ship). The Port State is the country which the ship is visiting. The flag State makes safety and environmental laws and regulations that their registered ships must comply with. To make sure this happens flag States inspect their ships, usually at the ship’s home port, however, they can do inspections in any port in the world on their own flag ships. This is called Flag State Control. Port State Control is the inspection of all foreign ships, visiting a port. These inspections are done by government employed surveyors and inspectors and this can be ceded to third parties (Classification Societies). Inspections are to make sure ships from other countries are up to standard and the ships don’t pose a risk to the marine environment and also that the master of the ship is competent enough. Surveyors inspect the ship’s safety equipment, including life rafts and firefighting equipment. They also check the crew’s qualifications and certifications

and the seaworthiness of the ship. In Ghana for instance, Port State Control inspections are carried out by the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA).

ROLE OF STEVEDORES Stevedores are the people who work on the wharfs and on the ships, loading and unloading the cargo. They operate derricks and cranes on the ship as well as the huge container cranes on shore. For container ships, stevedores take containers from the storage area to the crane and from the crane to the storage area. They secure containers to the ship and to each other. On some wharfs they could be operating conveyor belts or driving cars on or off ships (roll-on roll-off ships/car carriers). Many of the stevedores need to be strong and fit. They work in shifts so the port can operate 24 hours a day. In other jurisdictions, stevedores are also called ‘wharfies’.

ROLE OF QUARANTINE Quarantine officers make sure no new diseases or pests are brought into or enter a country. There are many diseases and pests in other countries that don’t live in others. These could get into a country when a live animal or plant material is imported. A quarantine system enables the safe importation of live animal and plant material. When the animals and plants arrive in a country they are stored and looked after in a secure area for several weeks where pests and germs can’t escape. While they are being cared for, they are closely watched to see if they get sick. If they get sick, experts (e.g. veterinary officers (vets), horticulturalists, entomologists) must find the cause. If there is a problem, the plants or animals can be destroyed so there is no risk to that country’s animals or plants and humans. Otherwise, after the required quarantine period the animals and plants are collected by the importers. Quarantine officers also check ships’ ballast water (maintains ship’s stability). They make sure there are no marine pests or invasive species from another country in the ballast water.

ROLE OF THE HARBOR MASTER Harbor Masters are responsible for safety in a port. They make sure: • The port is safe for ships to navigate to and from their berth to load and unload their cargo; • There is sufficient depth of water in the ship channels and alongside the wharfs, jetties and piers within the port; • If depth of water needs to be increased, the Harbor Master must warn ships visiting the port and arrange for the channel to be dredged to the required depth; • Navigation marks (buoys) are in position to assist ships navigate within the port. Harbor Masters usually supervise the work of the harbor pilots making sure they provide a good service. Harbor Masters make sure that ships using the port obey the port laws and other regulations. The Harbor Master can lay charges against people who break the port’s laws and take them to court to be fined.

ROLE OF CUSTOMS AND IMMIGRATION Once the ship has berthed at the wharf and the gangway is down or the ship is well anchored within the harbor limits, an immigration officer visits the ship. The customs officer will want to see the money list, dangerous goods declaration, cargo declaration, crew effects declaration, general declaration, ship stores declaration, etc. and passports of the ship’s crew, crew list, and passenger list-where applicable, seaman’s books, passenger’s passports (for Immigration officers). They need to make sure that those on the ship do not stay in that country when it (the ship) leaves.


Customs officers are interested in what is being imported into the country. Some of their roles are: • to make sure taxes (import duty) are paid on certain imported goods. • to inspect the ship looking for illegal goods, like drugs and firearms, etc.

PORT SECURITY The area around ports where cargo is handled is securely fenced. Security guards make sure that only those people who need to visit a port can go in. There are usually security cameras and precautions for keeping unwanted people out.

Security is very important in ports. • Wharfs are very dangerous places for people to be wandering around. There could be many large transport machines and cranes at work. Large conveyors can also be dangerous. • Security prevents cargo from being stolen. • Security stops people removing illegal imports before customs has a chance to check on the contents of containers. • Security prevents terrorist attacks on ports and ships.

ROLE OF TUG BOATS Ships are slow to turn and take a long time to stop. When only using their own power, ships risk damaging the dock and the ship. A ship will order one or more tug boats to help it dock at its berth. Tugs are necessary in smaller spaces and when the ship is close to a dock. Tugs are small but have powerful engines. They can push a ship as well as use lines to pull it. Most of the time, tugs will turn the ship around so it faces the way it will be leaving. The tugs will slowly nudge the ship towards the dock so it can berth safely.

ROLE OF HARBOR PILOTS When ships get close to a port, they need to pick up a harbor pilot to guide them in unless the captain on board has been to the port many times before. A pilot provides local navigation advice to the ship’s captain. The ship must book the pilot 24 hours

before it arrives at a port or is due to sail from a port. Pilots board ships before they get close to the port. When the ship is at sea, pilots use a boat or helicopter to get on board. The pilot is a seafarer who has special and detailed local knowledge of the port approach or channels and how currents and winds can affect ships and so uses the knowledge to ensure the safe passage of a ship through the pilotage area. Ships are large and can’t stop and turn quickly. The pilot knows when to start a turn and if the wind and currents will push the ship off its course. The pilot is a guide to the ship’s captain and officers and does not take over the controls. If the pilot makes a mistake, the ship’s captain and crews are still responsible as they control the ship at all times.

The ship’s agent deals with everything between the ship and the port and the authorities ashore. The ship’s agent also: • provides information about berthing prospects so that if no berths are available, the ship will proceed on slow steaming • brings mails onboard to the ship’s crew and looks after other paperwork. • takes all the necessary measures regarding the discharging and loading operations of the ship • makes arrangements concerning crew matters (medical care, repatriation, new crewmembers, bunkers, cash to the master, etc.) • receives documents such as bill of lading, charter party, manifest of cargo, the list of goods to be ordered from ship chandlers, etc.

MOORING BOATS AND LINESPEOPLE

SHIP’S CHANDLER

A ship needs to be secured to the wharf or it will move and bump about, damaging the ship and the wharf. The mooring boat can take the mooring line from the ship to the wharf. Or the ship’s crew, at each end of the ship, throw a heaving line to the linespeople on the wharf. This is a thinner line connected to the much heavier mooring ropes. The end of the mooring rope is placed over a bollard. The mooring rope is tightened by a winch (machine) on board the ship. To secure a ship, there are a minimum of three mooring ropes at each end of the ship secured to bollards on the wharf.

ROLE OF THE FIRE AND EMERGENCY SERVICES

SHIP’S AGENT The ship’s agent is the ship owner’s or ship operator’s representative in a port.

As mentioned above, the ship’s chandler receives orders for supplies from the Captain, Chief Steward and Chief Engineer on board a ship mostly through the ship’s agent. They order and handle food, spare parts and other goods needed by the crew to operate the ship. The ship’s chandler is the person who communicates between the ship and those on the shore who supply the goods.

In ports, the firefighting and emergency services include fire prevention. The organization responsible needs to know


what dangerous chemicals are being loaded or unloaded from ships and where they are stored. They are able to respond to emergencies in the port, both on land and above and under water. In large ports they will have boats that can fight fires with water or foam. They must also be able to respond to and clean up oil spills.

ROLE OF PORT AUTHORITIES IN MONITORING THE IMPACT OF PORT OPERATIONS ON THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT International and local rules require ports, maritime safety authorities and environmental protection agencies to monitor anything in a port which can damage or harm the environment. The places to be monitored include the cargo loading and unloading areas in the port, anchorages, channels and nearby coastal waters. The port’s environmental personnel make sure no environmental harm or damage occurs to the environment in the nearby region or to people living close to the port. Ports usually should regularly check air quality and the quality of rivers and creeks within the port area. They make sure that the

way the port is used does not cause pollution or other environmental damage.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE RISKS IN PORTS? Ports need to have environment protection and safety plans. The first thing port authorities want to do is prevent problems. If there is a problem they (port authorities) want to act quickly to keep the trouble under control. These are some of the things ports need to consider when they do their planning to reduce risks: Fire on board a ship while docked alongside the wharf, fire on board a ship on the water at anchorage, Ships sinking in the port, Fire on the shore, Dangerous chemical spill, Oil spill, Explosion, Escape of dangerous gas (poisonous or explosive), Accidents on shore, Collision of ships, Train or road accident in the port, Invasion of marine pests in ships’ ballast water or stuck to the ships’ hulls, Armed intruders, etc.

SOME TYPES OF SHIPS USING PORTS Container ships

These ships carry large steel or aluminum containers filled with many types of small goods. Containers are stacked on top of each other in the ship’s holds and on the deck. The containers on deck are strongly secured to

stop them falling off the ship in bad weather. Containers have become the most common way of importing and exporting consumable and other goods. Importing describes bringing cargo into the country. Exporting describes sending cargo to other countries. Bulk carriers

These ships carry large volumes of raw material. This could be coal, grain, woodchips or any mineral that has been mined, such as iron ore. Oil tankers

Oil tankers transport oil, petrol or other liquids that are refined from oil. They often transport crude oil from oil-producing countries to oil refineries.

Roll-on roll-off ships and vehicle ships These ships have ramps. Vehicle ships are designed to transport cars, trucks etc. which are simply driven on and off the ship. The roll-on roll-off ships can use forklifts to load the cargo. Passenger ships

These ships are designed to transport people. They may take passengers on short holiday cruises or on longer voyages around the world.


In the highly volatile world of oil and gas contracting, the common law principle that all contracts entered into should be performed in good faith, often finds itself threatened by attempts by host governments to re-negotiate contracts, and in more severe cases, attempts at expropriation or nationalisation. The basis on which states are able to do this almost unflinchingly is the international law concept of State Sovereignty. One of the ways by which international oil companies have sought cover against such situations is by the inclusion of stabilization clauses (in whatever form) in international oil agreements. How can Ghana ensure that, unlike the controversies in the mining sector, the stabilisation clauses in oil contracts strike a proper balance between investor interest and national interest? The international law concept of sovereignty clothes states with an immense amount of independence and control over their territorial jurisdictions and whatever falls within same, including any natural resources found within the geographically defined territory of the sovereign state. The exercise of sovereignty over natural resources would ordinarily be expected to translate into vast wealth to a state upon the discovery of a resource within its sovereign jurisdiction. We in Ghana know too well, this is not always the case. The reality is that there are many states that do not possess adequate capital, technology and know-how to tap into these resources and generate income in a self-sufficient way and Ghana is one of these. This, calls for partnership between sovereign states and strategic foreign investors; an interdependence which is fraught with many tensions over the long-term duration of these relationships. There is at all times that swinging pendulum called “bargaining power�, which depending on whose side it swings, determines which way things should go. The idea of sovereignty over natural resources carries with it certain sensitive, nationalistic sentiments that

the sovereign state as owner of the resource, must at all times get better out of the deal. Because of this, at times when host states find themselves in a higher bargaining position, they begin to seek changes to the existing investment agreements in order to obtain a higher stake. A typical example is the 2009 budget of Ghana which seeks to raise the minimum mining royalty from 3 percent to 6 percent, in spite of binding stabilisation clauses with major mining companies operating in Ghana. On the other hand, investors seek a stable investment environment under which they can recoup their investments and earn estimated profits. They rely on the principle that contracts entered into would be performed in good faith. The position of states is amply demonstrated in the terminations of concessions and expropriations that characterised the oil industry in the second half of the 20th century. Similar events have continued to occur even within the last three years in countries like Venezuela and Bolivia. Here, the unfolding controversy is with the Ghana government exercising its implied first option to buy the stake of Kosmos Energy, raising issues of what is considered reasonable space of time that the host nation is allowed to have in having to exercise that first option, if it so chooses. Foreign investors especially in the hydrocarbons industry have sought to counter the actions of sovereign states and minimise such political risk by the use of mechanisms like contractual stabilization clauses, legislative stability arrangements, bilateral investment treaties, multilateral investment treaties as well as informal mechanisms like goodwill gestures.


1. THE CONCEPT OF STATE SOVEREIGNTY

By a UN General Assembly Resolution in 1962, the principle of permanent sovereignty of states over natural resource wealth within their territorial jurisdiction was recognised and strengthened. Under this principle, “the right of peoples and nations to permanent sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources must be exercised in the interest of their national development and of the well-being of the people of the state concerned.” All activities regarding the exploration, extraction and sale of the natural resources are to be done according to the national laws of the sovereign state. Section 4 of the UN resolution allows for nationalisation, expropriation or requisitioning by a state, provided that it is done for “reasons of public utility, security or the national interest” and “appropriate compensation” is paid. Section 8, further highlights the limitation on sovereignty by placing a responsibility for foreign investment agreements entered into by or between sovereign states to be observed in good faith. By a subsequent resolution dated 26th July, 1974, the UN General Assembly reaffirmed the above provisos. The principle of permanent sovereignty grants sovereign states significant control in the management of these resources. It serves as a good basis for governments to negotiate a higher take in petroleum agreements to satisfy the nationalistic sentiments that the ownership of natural resources breeds in the citizens of a country. Owing to the usually long duration of petroleum agreements, some lasting on an average between 20 to 30 years, the temptation for the host nation to make changes to the original agreement governing petroleum operations is great. Such changes are

usually very likely upon the discovery of petroleum when the previously strong position of the IOC begins to diminish and there is an immediate shift in bargaining power in favour of the host country. This is known as the concept of “obsolescing bargain”. Governments may also seek a renegotiation in times of rising oil prices, when they feel that the economic projections upon which they negotiated and signed the agreement initially have changed. Ghana is currently witnessing nominal record price hikes in gold and higher profit margins for the mining companies. At such times, governments may feel and indeed may be under pressure from their citizens to obtain a greater share of the profits being generated. Again, governments may be influenced by emerging concepts around the world such as the imposition of taxes on obnoxious environmental practices, taxes to finance modern health and safety measures, the provision of security, and as compensation for local communities among others, to change the fiscal regime of the agreement. There are a variety of actions that host governments may take to alter the existing arrangements to the detriment of the IOC. The government may pass new laws and regulations that indirectly have a negative effect on the performance of the agreement by varying the existing legal and economic environment. In recent times, this has been termed “creeping expropriation”. The host state’s action may also be direct in the form of increments in tax and royalty rates, imposition of new taxes and royalties, increasing the percentage of participation of the SOC, as well as imposing restrictions on the IOC’s right to export or to repatriate its profits. Where the contract is a PSC, changes may be made to the cost oil and profit oil splits to benefit the host country.

2. STABILIZATION CLAUSES

The use of stabilization clauses is a direct response to unilateral actions of host governments that altered the positions of foreign companies under previously concluded long-term investment agreements. Investors rely on stabilization clauses to ensure relative stability of the main investment conditions needed for the successful performance of their investment ventures. For the foreign investors and their bankers, stabilization concerns among other things, the stability of the fiscal regime to ensure investment recovery, security of tenure over property and title, the ability to sell, the ability to retain and repatriate foreign exchange earned and the ability to operate the project under reasonably foreseeable conditions. Foreign Investors would also be concerned about non-financial matters like changes in labour and environmental law or changes in the interpretation of the existing law to the extent that it affects their interests adversely. The ‘Freezing’ Clause is the traditional form of stabilization clause. What this clause did was to state specifically that the governing law of the contract was the law of the host state at the time of the execution of the contract. By so doing, the clause sought to ‘freeze’ the parties’ rights and obligations agreed in the contract such that subsequent changes to the law of the host state would not be applicable to the particular


contract for the duration of its term. In practice it is rare especially in recent times for host governments to agree to an absolute ‘freezing’ of contract terms which permanently protects the parties’ rights and obligations agreed in the contract such that subsequent changes to the law of the host state would not be applicable to the particular contract for the duration of its term. More moderate forms of the clause can be found in petroleum contracts in Angola, Iraq, Malta, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Poland, Tunisia and here in Ghana. Article 26 of The Petroleum Agreement of 22 July, 2004, among the Republic of Ghana, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Kosmos Energy Ghana HC and the EO Group in respect of West Cape Three Points Block Offshore Ghana, contains an interesting mix of stabilisation clauses. It stipulates, inter alia, at paragraph 2: ‘The State, its departments and agencies, shall support this Agreement and shall take no action which prevents or impedes the due exercise and performance of rights and obligations of the Parties hereunder...’ More interesting is Article 26.3, which reads: ‘This agreement and the rights and obligations specified herein may not be modified, amended, altered or supplemented except upon the execution and delivery of a written agreement executed by the Parties. Any legislative or administrative act of the State or any of its agencies or subdivisions which purports to vary any such right or obligation shall, to the extent sought to be applied to this agreement, constitute a breach of this agreement by the State; provided, however, if the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Law, 1984 (PNDCL 84) is amended or replaced (superseded), Contractor shall be entitled to enjoy and this Agreement (and any new petroleum agreement referred to herein) shall be deemed to include (or include – as applicable) the terms and conditions in such amendment or replacement law that favourably affect the rights and/or obligations of the Contractor under this Agreement.” The Kosmos Energy agreement also contains an Equilibrium or Economic Balancing Clause. Unlike the freezing clause, this clause does not seek to restrain the host government from directly or indirectly altering the terms of a contract or altering the conditions under which the contract is to be performed. They rather seek to mitigate any adverse economic impact of such changes on the IOC. Thus, Article 26.4 of the Kosmos Energy agreement reads in part: “Where a Party considers that a significant

change in the circumstances prevailing at the time the Agreement was entered into, has occurred affecting the economic balance of the Agreement, the Party adversely affected thereby shall notify the other Parties in writing of the claimed change with a statement of how the claimed change has affected such economic balance… If such significant changes are established by the Parties to have occurred, the Parties shall meet to engage in negotiations and shall effect such changes in, or rectification of, these provisions as they may agree are necessary to restore the relative economic position of the Parties as at the date of this Agreement.” The equilibrium or economic balancing clause takes the form that in the event that the host government takes an action that has a negative impact on the economic benefits of the IOC under the contract, there would be an attempt at re-balancing to bring the parties back to the status-quo ante. This re-balancing may be done through negotiation or in some cases may occur automatically. The clause, as in the Kosmos Energy case, includes an option to resort to arbitration in the event that the parties fail to reach an agreement within a stated time frame. Another example of such a clause can be found in a 1998 contract for the Sofala Field in Mozambique. In effect, what article 26 seeks to do is to prohibit the state from directly making changes to the agreement or passing legislation that adversely affects the benefits and entitlements of the IOC under the agreement. It then goes on to ensure that in the event that such changes that negatively affect the investor occur indirectly, Ghana is under an obligation to restore it to the economic position it would have been in, had such change not occurred.

3 STATE SOVEREIGNTY VERSUS STABILIZATION CLAUSES 3.1 DEVELOPED / DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

In discussing the relationship between the concept of permanent sovereignty over natural resources and stabilization clauses, it should be pointed out that some states do not offer investors the option of contract based stability at all. The usual basis for this denial is that the current administration cannot enter into arrangements that would have the effect of tying the hands of future governments. This is typical of most OECD countries. Indeed in these countries, there isn’t the option of legislative stability either. The question may be, why not here in Ghana? In many Latin American countries including Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador and Panama, the


practice is to grant stability to IOCs and other foreign investors not in the form of contractual stabilization clauses, but through legislative stability arrangements. OECD countries, for instance, which are perceived to have little or no political risk have considerably high bargaining power and would thus refuse to grant IOCs the luxury of a stabilization clause. This is also true of countries with high levels of proven reserves of hydrocarbons and which can therefore attract foreign investors without having to commit too much. Ghana does not see itself to be exactly under any of the two categories. Developing countries usually agree to the use of stabilization clauses in petroleum contracts because of their perceived low bargaining power at the time of entering into these agreements. Many developing countries, like Ghana, are so desperate to attract IOCs with the needed investment and expertise to conduct exploration and production that they are willing to agree to many of the conditions set by these investors including the insertion of stabilization clauses. Where the country’s level of proven reserves is low, marginal, or speculative like Ghana’s was until recently, its bargaining power is even lower and there is increased pressure to accept terms from IOCs that they would otherwise not accept, given a stronger bargaining position.

3.2 LIMITATIONS TO FISCAL STABILITY

There are constitutional limitations to stability clauses. This is because in many countries including the U.K and, in fact, Ghana, it is legally impossible for an incumbent government to enter into agreements that would place constraints on a future government’s ability to raise existing taxes or enact new tax laws. However, this constitutional issue has never been tested under the Fourth Republic. But, the writer would argue that in Ghana a stabilization clause that attempts to freeze existing tax laws in relation to a project therefore may have little chance of success in the court of law. Lawyers from both sides may argue and arbitration may be threatened, but the constitution should prevail. The economic issue may, however, revolve around how any such changes on tax laws affecting stabilization clauses may in turn affect the wider foreign investor confidence.

3.3 LIMITATIONS TO SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL STABILITY In recent times concerns have been raised about attempts by IOCs through the use of sophisticated stabilization clauses, to restrict states from regulating on environmental and social matters including health, safety and human rights issues. This has been in the wake of a modern trend towards raising standards in environmental and social matters in the international oil industry. The situation becomes morally persuasive when the state has to meet international obligations and standards on such environmental matters. This is even where international law may come to a state’s rescue. It is, therefore, safer for countries to exclude environmental and social matters from the scope of application of the stabilization clause, thus preserving

their sovereign right to legislate towards sustainable development in the nation’s interest.

3.4 THE EFFECTIVENESS OF FREEZING

International law recognises the right of host governments to expropriate even in the face of a previous guarantee that they will not. The host state just has to pay compensation to the IOC in that event. Again, nationalisations that took place between the 1950s and the 1970s showed that although stabilization clauses had an effect on the amount of compensation awarded to the IOCs at arbitration, they were not successful in preventing the nationalisations. Doubts about the effectiveness of this freezing type of stabilization clause in trying to prevent the state from the exercise of its sovereign prerogatives is what led to the new approach to stabilization in the form of economic balancing.

3.5 THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ECONOMIC BALANCING In the author’s opinion, this new approach to stabilization is more beneficial in the sense that it allows both the host government and the foreign investor to strike some sort of balance between the need to legislate and take other actions in the interest of the host country, and the need to honour agreements signed in good faith. An economic balancing clause in an agreement provides a pre-arranged practical way of dealing with a situation where the host government is asserting rebus sic stantibus (A customary international law doctrine that allows treaties to become inapplicable because of a fundamental change in circumstances, provided for under Article 62 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, 23 May 1969, 115 UNTS 331, 8 ILM 679 (1969) entered into force 27 Jan. 1980) and the IOC is claiming pacta sunt servanda (A basic rule of civil and international law that agreements must be kept). In reality however, the effectiveness of the economic balancing clause has not yet been tested. As a form of further assurance, the clause is in some agreements linked to the arbitration clause so that in the event of a failure to arrive at equilibrium the IOC may resort to arbitration. No recent award has however been made to give insight on the enforceability of the economic balancing clause at law. In conclusion, the writer is of the opinion that while states continue to guard firmly their sovereign rights over natural resources, contractual stabilization clauses would continue to be relied on by foreign investors as a tool for ensuring the stability of long term petroleum investment contracts for a long time to come. Whether the two themes would develop to the level capable of being described as peaceful bedfellows in the economic balancing clause however remains to be seen. Nevertheless, though not tested, both state officials and foreign investors operating in Ghana should know that stabilization clauses offer but, arguably, limited comfort to the investor in the sight of Ghana’s constitution, regarding the freedom of Parliament to introduce new levies.

ALONI WINNERS ALEBNA BME 12


Piracy Orchestrating Africa’s response

A BRIEF HISTORY OF PIRACY

Article 101 of the United Nations Convention on Law Of the Sea (UNCLOS) defines piracy as:

(a) Any illegal acts of violence or detention, or any act of depredation, committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or a private aircraft, and directed: (i)On the high seas, against another ship or aircraft, or against persons or property on board such ship or aircraft; (ii)Against a ship, aircraft, persons or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any State; (b)Any act of voluntary participation in the operation of a ship or of an aircraft with knowledge of facts making it a pirate ship or aircraft; (c) Any act of inciting or of intentionally facilitating an act described in subparagraph (a) or (b). According to article 101 of the Law Of the Sea

(LOS) Convention only those acts which have been committed illegally “for private ends” by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or a private aircraft on the high seas against another ship or aircraft or against persons or property on board such ship or aircraft are considered acts of piracy. ‘Piracy’ therefore does not include acts with governmental objectives, acts committed within the territorial sea, in port or internal waters, or acts which involve only one ship. Pirates are sea robbers who prey on other ships and rob them of their goods and sometimes capture the ship itself for their own purposes and nowadays trade their captives or victims for ransoms that run into millions of dollars. Piracy began over 2000 years ago in Ancient Greece, when sea robbers threatened the trading routes of Ancient Greece. Since then, this threat has continued amongst seafaring nations ever since,

until the birth of regular navies. Roman ships were attacked by pirates who seized their cargoes of grain, and olive oil. The Vikings (sea-raider) were renowned for attacking shipping and coastal settlements. However, piracy really flourished between 1620 and 1720, and this period is known as the golden age of piracy. Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, there have been different types of pirates, these being, privateers, buccaneers, and corsairs. Privateers were lawful pirates who were authorized by their government to attack and pillage ships of enemy nations. They shared their profits with the government. Between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries governments issued ‘letters of marque’ which licensed these sailors to plunder alien ships. This was to prevent privateers from being charged with piracy, which was an offence punishable by death. For instance, Francis Drake was England’s most famous privateer. In


the sixteenth century he attacked Spanish treasure ships returning from the new world, sharing his profits with Elizabeth I, who knighted him for his services. Buccaneers were pirates and privateers who operated from bases in the West Indies, and attacked Spanish shipping in the Caribbean. Corsairs were Muslim or Christian pirates who were active in the Mediterranean from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. The Barbary Corsairs were Muslim, and operated solely from the Magrebian or North African states of Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli and Morocco, and were authorized by their government to attack the ships of Christian countries. In contrast the Maltese Corsairs were Christian and were granted a license by the Christian Knights of St John to attack the ‘barbarian’ Turks. Many pirates had served in merchant or naval ships prior to turning to piracy. Life on a pirate ship appeared more attractive as they were independent of national laws, the crew were treated much better than normal sailors and prize money was shared out equally. Most seamen became pirates as they hoped to become rich on plunders of treasure and cargo ships. When pirate ships captured merchant ships, the pirate captain would ask for volunteers to serve under him. Many of the crew would volunteer as life on a merchant ship was harsh and conditions awful. There were not many women pirates, as seamen believed that it was unlucky to have women onboard ships. Women therefore had to disguise themselves as men. However there were some extremely powerful women pirates, such as Ching Shih who commanded a pirate community of 80,000. The two most famous women pirates were Anne Bonney and Mary Reed, who were captured in 1720 and put on trial in Jamaica. They were both sentenced to death, but escaped execution as they were both pregnant. Mary Reed died of fever a few months after the trial, but Anne Bonney was released. Becoming a pirate was called ‘going on the account’ and they had to agree to live by the rules of the ship. These rules were often strict and breaking them could mean flogging or even death. If a pirate was found stealing from their comrades or deserting during battle, they were marooned on a desert island with meagre supplies. Most would die a slow death from starvation if they could not hunt or fish. Pirates used flags to frighten passing ships into surrendering without a fight. The original pirate flags were blood red, and this signaled that no mercy would be shown once the pirates boarded and battle ensued. As piracy developed, more flags were used, and pirates often had their own flags. The Jolly Roger, (a skull and cross bone) is the most famous pirate flag. The symbol had been appropriated from the symbol used in ships’ logs, where it represented death on board. It was first used as pirate flag around 1700 and quickly became popular with pirates, who designed their own version of the flag, e.g. a skull and crossed swords. Pirates required ships that were fast, powerful, and had as shallow a depth below the water as possible. This was because surprise was vital to a pirate attack, and they needed to be able to navigate in shallow coastal waters and hide in secluded coves and inlets. Schooners were used by pirates in North American

waters. They were fast, easily manoeuvred, with a shallow draught but were large enough to carry many guns and a large crew. Junks which were flat bottomed boats, with three masts and sails held together with bamboo rods, were used in Chinese waters. Pirates often took over captured merchant ships and altered them to suit their purpose, such as to increase speed, cut more gun ports, and also to hide the true identity of the ship. They also utilized weapons, clothes, medicines, and food found on board. Pirates boarded ships by jamming the rudder with wooden wedges so that the ship could not be steered. They would then use grappling hooks to board the ship, heavily armed with pistols, daggers and cutlasses, which were suited to hand-to-hand fighting. Pirates also used homemade weapons, such as hand grenades made by filling wine bottles with gunpowder and created smoke screens by setting fire to yellow sulphur. Merchant seamen under attack tried to prevent pirates boarding by greasing decks or scattering dried peas or broken glass on the decks. However, they knew if they put up a strong resistance and lost, the pirates would show no mercy and they would be seriously maimed or murdered. The pirates would take all the treasure or cargo that the ship carried. These might include silks, jewels, spices, wine, brandy, linen, money or slaves. Sometimes the pirates added the captured ship to their fleet or sank it to get rid of any evidence that would convict them. The seamen would be killed, ransomed, taken as slaves or joined the pirate crew. Pirates also became involved in the lucrative slave trade. The Barbary Corsairs found that by selling ships’ crew as slaves or demanding a ransom for them was more profitable than the ship’s cargo. Some became slavers, whilst others sold cargoes of slaves captured from the merchant ships bound for the American colonies, or from raids on the West African slave ports. Thus many pirates became a combination of slaver, privateer and pirate, and by the 1830’s the term picaroon had come to mean both pirate and slaver. Pirate captains in the Caribbean welcomed runaway slaves, who made up as much as one-third of some pirate crews. For slaves joining a pirate ship was more appealing than living the harsh life on the plantations as a slave. The punishment for piracy was death by public hanging. Organized piracy and privateering was finally ended in the nineteenth century. Dutch warships patrolled Southeast Asia, and the British navy attacked pirates in the South China seas. However, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, lawful privateers were still flourishing until 1856 when the majority of maritime nations signed the Declaration of Paris. This banned letters of marque, and therefore outlawed privateering. Navies of each country were used to enforce this law. The age of steam also helped to end piracy as anti-slavery operations were now undertaken by steam ships. These could sail without wind and at great speed, while pirates still relied upon more cumbersome sailing ships. By 1850 there were only a small number of pirates remaining. Although piracy has never returned to the level it was in previous centuries, it has not completely disappeared and the world’s navies continue to try to prevent piracy. Attacks occur worldwide, mainly in developing


countries. In the 1990s, political groups hijacked ships, threatening crews and passengers with death if their demands were not met. Pirates in South East Asia have attacked merchant shipping and in the Caribbean, ships have been attacked and robbed. Modern day pirates still rely on speed and surprise in their attacks. They use fast dinghies and arm themselves with assault rifles to overpower ships. Many ships today have smaller crews, relying on technology and so can be easily overpowered. Almost as soon as the world’s navies had made the oceans safe, people quickly began to forget the reality of piracy. Many writers turned pirates into heroes. Byron (1788-1824) did much to create the myth of the romantic pirate hero in his poem ‘The Corsair’. However such books as Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’ portrayed a more realistic view of pirates as villains. The oceans, ports and inland waterways of the continents are more than mere sources of food and energy; they are how continents and countries trade with the rest of the world. Accordingly, the African maritime sector holds the key to wealth and prosperity for the continent as a whole. If Africans hope to realize a prosperous future as stakeholders in an emerging market or even as global market leaders, they will need first to master the maritime domain. But for too long governments and institutions have turned blind eyes toward the African seas and allowed security problems, corruption, bureaucracy, and weak infrastructure to rob Africans and their honest partners of food, energy, wealth, and prosperity. Given the importance of the maritime industry in the global market, and hence in Africa, the leaders and governments should consider ways to support maritime sector development, to help actualize plans, strategies, and partnerships that improve security, governance, infrastructure, and commercial investment.

The Response Attempts to protect shipping from interference by acts of violence have a long history in international and national law and have resulted, amongst others, in the development of rules providing that piracy is to be considered an international crime. The existing rules for the suppression of piracy are inadequate. They do not even provide for an efficient regime against piracy narrowly defined. Piratical acts and acts akin to piracy do not need the ‘terrorism’ label to be seen as grave crimes worthy of an international response. The responses highlighted below can help deal with the threat piracy poses.

There should be a greater show of political will to ensure that pirates or suspected pirates are brought to justice. There is a certain reluctance to capture pirates without a firm possibility of successfully dealing with them and their ships. The next issue is one of willingness to prosecute but more prosecutions of pirates could make a difference in the risk-benefit analysis facing pirates. Further there should be regional and continental co-operation to make prosecutions successful. Information-sharing is important: identification of the suspects is often difficult; pirates range from former fishermen who know the sea to ex-militia men who are expert fighters to people who can operate military hardware, GPS and radio. In view of the difficulties for national prosecutions, regional and continental courts may be set up to prosecute pirates, or the jurisdiction of the existing International Criminal Court can be enlarged to include piracy.


The basic capacities of judicial systems must be built. One of the most pressing issues is the lack of stenographers in courts; court proceedings currently need to be recorded manually, often causing difficulties and delays and sometimes a lack of official records. Modern communication and record systems are needed. Trials may lack Somali speakers to translate for the pirates. More training is needed for prosecutors and more support to the judicial system as a whole, to ensure fair trial standards. Another difficulty is the lack of legal assistance to pirates: the Kenyan penal system does not provide the accused with legal aid unless charged with murder. The collection and processing of evidence is impeded by the lack of or inadequate forensic facilities in Mombasa and the wider Eastern Africa region, insufficient transport facilities, and limited office space. Prisons are overcrowded. Capacity building and improvement of prison facilities and systems are necessary and some (prison facilities and systems) should be made pirate-specific.

Private security companies should be more engaged. In the face of increasing pirate attacks, and especially in the Gulf of Aden, an increasing number of shipping companies are continuing to debate the desirability and feasibility of arming their vessels or hiring private security companies for protection. The question has legal and political repercussions. The use of lethal force to protect commercial ships depends first on the law of the flag of that ship, secondly, the law of nationality of the persons concerned, and thirdly on the requirements of each port state visited. Hence, there need to be some baseline rules set for example, by a continental body under the African Union which would combine or reconcile the competing rules by

different countries and flagstates. Different countries have different attitudes to the use of force. Private security contractors tread a fine line where lethal force is used for the protection of property. A number of private security companies (PSCs) now offer their services to shipping companies. Most PSCs offer small security detachments whose role is to provide the master with advice on security aspects. They will exercise the crew, and oversee the building of defences and obstacles. They have a positive effect on crew morale and when deployed provide an additional layer of security and alertness all of which has proved useful in terms of hardening a ship and making it less likely to be taken. If the option of private security companies is to be further explored, there is a need to develop a system of accreditation of PSCs also to be under the supervision of the continental maritime body. This would allow the commercial shipping companies to check on who they are dealing with and allow those companies which are accredited to put distance between themselves and those that are not. PSCs have no status in international law and those running armed escort ships suffer from a lack of legal certainty about their activities but amendments to the law could be done to help PSCs protect merchant and private or pleasure ships to embark on their voyages safely. Consideration should be given to an accreditation system, which would allow a system of due diligence and identification of higher quality private security firms. Nevertheless, there are some fundamental arguments against the use of private security forces on board merchant vessels. The provisions on piracy in UNCLOS (Articles 100 – 110) make clear that piracy is a problem to be dealt with by governments and navies. Until the threat of piracy diminishes, the employment of private security companies in the combat of it still remains a very viable option and should be the more explored.

• As well as lethal force a range of non-lethal measures should adopted. This includes the use of long-range acoustic devices (LRADs); fire hoses net guns, tazers, and flares. There has also been some discussion on the use of dogs. Passive measures currently in use in other jurisdictions include web-based tracking and monitoring, pre-transit consultancy such as crew training or vessel ‘hardening’ defensive protection by using barbed wire, obstacles and grating overbridge windows to give some protection against RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade) rocket attacks and they fine measures that can be replicated.

• Each state, whether or not with navies in the region, should ensure that piracy and armed robbery are offences under its domestic law; common standards, internationally agreed, for the investigation, including collection of evidence, of those engaged in piracy. • There needs to be greater coordination among the different regional organizations e.g. the MOWCA of the Western and Central African region and fora which are promoting cooperation on counterpiracy and greater promulgation of the guidelines, codes and other instruments of each. • The various public and private interests should be engaged and encouraged to have the willingness to spend money on further efforts to recover ransom payments. • States should have adequate national criminal laws addressing piracy.

Chief7 (Anab Qwesy Abudu) Bps 13


THE HOPEFULS ARE RELATIVES I live in Accra, a very busy part of Ghana. Everyday has a new story to be told of its inhabitants. This is one of the many I happened to chance upon. This is a short ‘SCRIPTED’ story I witnessed or should I say experienced on my way to a vacation job I had signed up for at Tema (another suburb of the Greater Accra Region) one morning. I joined the number of the majority of Accra dwellers who struggle to join one of the’local’ and unorganised transport systems called ‘trotro’. As I stood at the bus stop waiting to fight with the other people to get onboard, I noticed what would seem to be ordinary and normal to many I should say. I noticed among the many workers at the bus stop an elderly woman who should be in her late 50s, dressed in the normal attire that marks the less unfortunate yet beautiful traditional women of the nation. She looked like someone from the rural part of the country. She was with a little child who was wearing what would probably be the best out of the little clothes he would be owning. The very best which happened to be a pair of trousers above his ankles and a shirt which was a little bit torn at the sides, all the way to his armpits. His shoes were worn out and he wore no socks. The old lady held on to him very tightly fearing the cars which were driving in to the bus stop dangerously, forcing anybody standing in its way to move aside for dear life. The boy tried to protest to the old lady’s tight grip and directions to no avail leaving his skin ‘white’ (this was probably due to his skin not being moisturised, leaving it at the mercy of the weather to dry it)

As we stood waiting, a lorry stopped and as usual the driver’s mate (bus conductor) opened the rickety, very rusted sliding door from which the slightest cut would leave the unfortunate victim a possible 99% chance of getting the dreadful tetanus. He jumped out and started to call out “NUNGUA-ASHIAMAN-ASHIAMANNUNGUA!” while he looked out for anybody heading towards his car. Usually most of the people in the rush hour would desperately move towards any car in hope of getting a seat onboard. Most of the lot return to their former position when they realise the trotro’s destination is not the same as theirs. As the lot were returning, I noticed the old lady running towards the mate with a smile on her face and her arms spread open, leaving her post on duty to protect the child she was walking with. She shouted Kwaku! Kwaku!running her short distance to embrace Kwaku, the mate. The mate turned in surprise to the call of his name and caught the embrace with full impact. This is the dialogue that I over heard in Twi which I am now translating to English; Woman: Ei! Kwaku is that you? It has been long. Ow! I can’t believe my eyes Kwaku: Yes, how are you doing? I am even lost for words woman realises Kwaku was with a car asks Woman: Ei Kwaku is that your car? You are a mate now (a trace of happiness in her voice) Good for youooooooooo we thank God


Kwaku: hmmmmmmmm Yes I am a mate now and yes that is the car I work with and there is my master, the driver. The car is not ours though Woman: Ow! Kwaku how are you? Kwaku: By his grace I am fine. Anyway, where are you headed? The driver starts to honk for Kwaku to get onboard. Woman: Towards Tema too........... Kwaku hops onboard the already moving car before she could finish her sentence. With a wave to the old lady and the little boy he shouts “I will try and see you soon”. The woman, still wearing her smile of happiness, returned to her post only suddenly relinquished that smile. Now I did not know the relation between the two people but as the story normally goes, both of them might be from the same village and Kwaku the mate would be one of those many young people who leave the rural parts of the country for the cities to seek greener pastures. They come in to find that the same hot ‘SUN’just like the one they had where they come from burns here and scorches those greener pastures out.They come to find that the world would require for them to qualify for selection to enjoy the promises. I was finally able to get onboard a trotro that would take me to my destination. On reaching the Nungua barrier, I realised Kwaku had been stopped by the police. Poor unlucky fellow and his master had fallen prey to the antics of the police personnel who would be extorting from then some money or have their papers ceased. Either you pay the ‘Lampo’ or forget about your papers. The poor drivers normally have to give in and pay the bribes which would normally be some few notes of the lower denominations of the country’s currency. Do not make a mistake, even though the bribes are cheap, they would go a long way to affect the victims who make close to nothing. Not to blame the policemen totally, I mean, come on, lets face it, those guys also make nothing considering the line of service they render. As I sat in the car, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Kwaku who had just a few minutes ago been a source of joy to someone who thought her relative was having a better life as a driver’s mate. For those of you who have no idea what being a mate is, the following description should help you out. Mates are considered to be amongst the dirtiest people in Ghana, hence the local synonym; as smelly as a mate’s armpit. They are people of which the majority go about their daily business without bathing and are most of the time homeless people or if lucky sleep in the cars they work in. With this in

mind and the old woman’s joy at seeing young Kwaku the mate, one could only wonder his former state. Now during the day at work I decided to go outside to get a bit of air and stretch out my legs which I had been cramping behind the desk I shared with my colleague. As I went about my bizz I noticed two familiar faces, the old lady and the little boy, Had the stars arranaged themselves purposely for my day go on with me meeting these people? They were walking down the dusty road of the ever busy Tema sadly in a dance rhythm to honking of horns from cars which were either forcing them on or off the road in an awkward and confused manner. The old lady holding on to the little boy, both of them with feet caked with dust. From the direction they were coming, I couldassume they were headed towards the lorry station where they were going to get onboard one of those lorries that would take them out of this monster of a lying city. She had on her face a look of worry and I could assume that whatever it was she came to accomplish, she wasn’t able to. This is the case most of the time. Family members in the rural areas sometimes journey to the cities to get help from socalled lucky ones who sometimes either send them back empty-handed or with peanuts which would hardly fetch them a ride back home. This old lady, to me looked like one of those unfortunate. I watched her undo a knot in her wrap cloth (which would normally contain a few coins and some low denomination notes) for money to buy a sachet of pure water which she shared with the little boy. After therefreshing drink she returned with the little boy into their awkward dance to the music of the horns of the cars. I stood watching them as theyvanished along with my thoughts of them behind the credit sellers kiosk into the life that marked the city. From this story all I could do was identify with the old woman, Kwaku, the little boy with so little a chance of inheriting any life positively different from his elders, the policemen, the water seller, the taxi driver who plies the dusty and bad roads of Tema, my colleague with whom I was cramped with behind the desk........ the many who struggle for a lorry every morning and the many beautiful unbroken people who struggle through life everyday. I identify with these people because the hopeful are relatives and we are all given a new chance by our faiththrough the Sun that rises every morning and theMoon that would light our darkness every night. Like in the words of the very beautiful Soul Singer Bibie Brew “feeling good is part of the reasons we carry on”. We have to keep going on as we the hopefuls are relatives.


MARITIME LADIES ASSOCIATION

Regional Maritime University ladies this year saw the need to come together to form an association that will be known and called “Maritime Ladies Association” (MLA) for the purpose of developing leadership skills in women as well as encouraging young women in the maritime field to effectively contribute their quota to the building of a more vibrant maritime industry through networking, exchange of information, and other activities and to support members and the community as a whole. These ladies have had a couple of meeting and have come up with all the requirements needed for an association to start operating and hopefully by the next academic year “Maritime Ladies Association” will be inaugurated. MLA wishes to extend membership to alumni of RMU as well. They wish to organise activities such as talks, conferences, seminars for our ladies to help make them better ladies during their stay on campus and better women in future. MLA is however not a feminist organisation. The first board of executives have been selected to spearhead all the activities of the association for a year. The executive board will be led by the Dame, Regina Conteh- Khali supported by six other executives. All ladies are encouraged to join.


How To:Tie tie What you need to know • • •

The most traditional tie knot is called the Windsor. The easiest, most casual tie knot is the Four-in-Hand. As a man, you should know how to tie a tie.

When it comes to tie-tying, most of guys are one-dimensional at best. Some guys mastered the art of a single knot a long time ago, and then left well enough alone; those of us who seldom wear ties either leave the thing tied or rely on a clip. And not that any of this is right or wrong, but as men, especially well-dressed men, we should possess the practical skills of learning how to tie a tie and creating various tie knots. It’s not a “one-knot-fitsall” world we live in. So, in an attempt to increase your tie-tying acumen, here is a quick look at how to tie a tie and achieve four of the most popular knots.

Windsor

The granddaddy of them all, the Windsor is the most traditional knot and is the first one to master. It creates a hefty, professional-looking knot, meaning that it works best for any occasion when you want to look completely respectable. 1. Place the tie around your shoulders, top-side up; with the fat end hanging roughly a foot lower than the skinny end. 2. Cross the fat portion over the skinny end to make an X fairly close to your neck (around the second shirt button). 3. Loop the fat end underneath the thin end and up through the neck loop. Drop it down so that it overlaps the thin end again. 4. Pull the fat end behind the bundle of cloth you’ve created (your first step toward the final knot) to the left. Pull it up and drop it down through the neck loop again, then pull it to the left again. 5. Pull the fat end over from left to right, overlapping your evolving knot. 6. Pull the fat end up through the loop

again, behind what now looks like a nearly complete knot. 7. Bring the fat end back down and insert it through the knot. 8. Finish your knot by tightening it. In doing so, you will see the beginnings of a natural dimple form. Manipulate it manually to make this dimple as distinct as possible. Its purpose is to add depth to an otherwise flat, bland-surfaced tie, and concurrently to mark you as a man of style. You will never leave the house without a dimple in your tie again.

Half-Windsor

In the same vein as the Windsor, the HalfWindsor enjoys a professional prestige and polished reputation. However, it’s not quite as bulky, which makes it a better option for narrower collars and softer shirts. 1. Place the tie around your shoulders, top-side up; with the fat end hanging roughly a foot lower than the skinny end. 2. Cross the fat portion over the skinny end to make an X fairly close to your neck (around the second shirt button). 3. Pull the fat end behind the thin end to the right, then up in front of it and down through the neck loop. 4. Pull the fat end over from right to left, overlapping your evolving knot. 5. Pull the fat end up through the loop again, behind what now looks like a nearly complete knot. 6. Bring the fat end back down and insert it through the knot. 7. Finish your knot by tightening it; again, accentuate that dimple.

Four-in-Hand

Looking for a knot with little time investment and less pretension? The Four-in-Hand is all yours. It’s an on-the-go knot that works with both casual looks and narrow collars. When it comes to learning about how to tie a tie, this one’s the easiest to master. 1. Place the tie around your shoulders,top-

side up; with the fat end hanging roughly a foot lower than the skinny end. 2. Cross the fat portion over the skinny end to make an X fairly close to your neck (around the second shirt button). Wrap the fat end around the thin end, and then up through the neck loop. Drop the fat end back down and through the knot. 3. Finish your knot by tightening it. Note that the dimple is much harder to produce on this kind of knot and may prove entirely elusive.

Pratt

The Pratt is that well-rounded knot most guys will depend on religiously. Its symmetrical look and less complicated construction deem the Pratt the most universal knot that goes with any dress shirt. 1. Place the tie around your neck upside down (with the seams facing outward). Note that the fat end should be hanging lower than the thin end. 2. Cross the two ends over to form an X and flip the fat end up and through the loop to form a knot around the smaller end. 3. Pull both ends apart quite tightly to ensure your knot is snug, and then bring the fat end of the tie over the thin end to cover your first knot. 4. Pull the fat end up and through the loop, and then drop it down through the knot. 5. Tighten and dimple up.

All tied up

In a complicated world, no one wants more responsibility and more work. But when it comes to fashion -- and most definitely the tie knot -- going the extra mile can really pay off. Sure, that solitary knot you’ve relied on for years may get the job done, but it may do so counterproductively. So study up and practice hard: Show the world you know how to tie a tie.

Source: askmen


How to sustain

Love

Many love relationships, from the beginning blossoming like a rose flower turn thorns after few years; I have a perfect antidote or better still a remedy to have a life long relationship blossoming like a day one love. Here are few points to note COMMUNICATION

This is the first most important element in a love relationship; know how to express your feelings without offence or alienating the other person. Learn to use words that will affirm and not to hurt even when you are angry. Become an interesting and stimulating person to talk and to spend time with be a good listener and an encourager.

PROBLEM SOLVING AND FORGIVING SPIRIT

Problems such as conflict are bound to be found in every relationship but how to handle it is the

determinant of the life of the relationship. You will need to look for problem solving skills. It is best to solve the problem amicably between the two of you without involving others once a problem crops up. It is better to relax for tempers to be cooled before problems are trashed out then forgive and forget never refer to the past it doesn’t help.

SELF CONTROL

Partners must learn to control their sexual desires before marriage and also your temper. Love comes with its own temptations before marriage and you will need self control not to move too fast or go too far at any phase of your relationship. The self control you learn now especially over your sexual desire will save you after your marriage when your partner is not available for sex and learning how to control your temper will do you a lot of good. Self control is about being resolute and talking to your inner man and your conscience, you can do it so start right away. To be continued .... Compiled by: ewurabena asmah


An Interview with the

Cultural Queen By Nora Bamfowaa (NB)

NB: Can you please tell us something about yourself. CC: I am Faustina Ofosuaa Acquaye, born on the 23rd

of august and I come from the eastern region of Ghana. I’m in the diploma in Ports and Shipping Level 100 class. NB: so what motivated to contest for the RMU Cultural Queen pageant? CC: I liked the theme of the cultural week very much,(theme) and the whole idea of exhibiting culture was great. NB: Were you intimidated when you saw who your competitors for the pageant were? CC: Yes, I got a bit nervous. NB: Did you think you were going to wear the crown? CC: Actually I knew that I had the potential of a queen in me and when I got to the latter part of the pageant I knew I was likely to win. NB: what was going through your mind when it was turn for questioning and your judge used complicated English? CC: I was like “oh gosh!!! What is he talking about?” but I managed to answer it anyway. I would love to learn more vocabulary from him to help me prepare for the face of tertiary pageant. NB: What was the feeling when you won? CC: Awwww!!! It was one of the best moments in my life and it was amazing. I was a bit surprised though. NB: So is our Queen single?

CC: In fact I’m so single and very much searching. NB: How will you describe your ideal man then? CC: He must be tall, intelligent, outspoken, caring,

wealthy, and generous and since I’m romantic, I want a romantic guy as well. NB: Do you have any words of encouragement for ladies who wish to contest this pageant next year? CC: It is a nice experience so I will encourage all RMU ladies to contest since it is a beautiful way of exhibiting our diverse cultures. NB: Any final message for us? CC: I thank all students for their support and the Nigerian Students Association especially for holding this year’s cultural week celebrations. I hope to see more improvement next


exciting years. This This academic year has been one of the most since the transions nisat orga nt is due to the springing up of stude university four years formation of the school from an academy to a Student Association ago. Organisations such as Maritime Studies Association (MEESA) (MaSSA), Marine Electricals Electronics Students are in operation and and recently the Student Representative Council spiced up the year. have organised various social activities that have been formed and Denominational Christian organisations have also are in operation.

Be

s e i t r a p h c a


s

Congregation


Cultural week 2010/2011a

Cultural week 2010/2011 Cultural week 2010/2011a

This year’s cultural week celebrations took a whole new level. Hosted by the Nigerian Students Association the week was packed with exciting activities beginning with the opening ceremony on Monday where the celebrations were officially opened.


Sporting activities took place in the form of football, basketball, arm wrestling, lime and spoon and other local games in the course of the week between the nationals of the various countries represented on campus. The cultural queen pageant was held on Friday and was fairly represented by all nationalities. Ghana took the crown home. The week’s activities were crowned with the durbar on Saturday where culture was displayed in dressing, dance, drama and food. A thanksgiving service was held in collaboration with the RMU Christian fellowship on Sunday.


Regional Maritime University SRC After a long wait, students of the Regional Maritime University have finally voted in executives to run the Students Representative Council. After preparations put in place by the Interim SRC elections were held this year on the 28th of May. Four students contested for the position of president while three contested for the position of general Secretary. Two students also vied for the position of treasurer. After elections, Mr. Prince Ato Nunoo emerged President of the SRC, with Miss. Jennifer King as General Secretary and Miss. Greater Funfade as Treasurer.

Prince Ato Nunoo SRC President

Jennifer King

General Secretary

Greater Funfade Treasurer


The RMU SRC

constitution-

what you should know REGIONAL MARITIME UNIVERSITY ACCRA, GHANA The Regional Maritime University (RMU), a leading maritime university of first choice in maritime training and education in the sub-region, continues to run academic and professional programmes, to produce high level skills for the maritime and allied industries.

The University offers the following programmes:

The fast paced world of democracy was both a choice mentioning that every money spent will have to attain ACADEMIC PROGRAMMES: IN PORTS AND SHIPPING ADMINISTRATION, and a pathway to freedom. Make no mistake historical M.A.managements approval and or knowledge. BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (BSc.) moments demanded that students unite and strain every M.A. IN MARITIME LAW 1.sinew MARINE elections ofENGINEERING their collective body to address their common (TheseThe programmes are run in collaboration with the School of Research and Graduate 2. ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING Indeed, most Legon important activity that will actually give challenges and reach respective goals through democracy. Studies, Universitythe of Ghana, and Shanghai Maritime University, China respec3. BSc. NAUTICAL SCIENCE tively)birth to SRC is it first elections. The elections will usher 4. PORTS AND SHIPPING ADMINISTRATION in the SRC’s leadership and execute its strategic plans. is the best of times, it is the age of wisdom, that with 5.It COMPUTER ENGINEERING By the provisions of the constitution, there shall be secret andMANAGEMENT mindset, students 6.aB.common A. LOGISTICSpurpose AND SHIPPING (is run in together with Target Market / Duration casting for the election of executives to the of the Rector and Governors to better collaboration with Board ShanghaiofMaritime University, (SMU) lot and Seniorballot management personnel in Ports and Shipping organizations and offices all persons President, Secretary-General Treasurer. future of the thewill entire Regional interested in making a career thechoice maritime industry. One (1) Year of Two (2) SemesChina. Level 300students of the programme be taken China). Maritime Theand Regional Maritime University (RMU), a leading maritime university ofinfirst inand marTheretowill also a and voting selection process for all classes University work has itime beentraining done and to ensure thein‘safe berth’ terscontinues duration. education the sub-region, runbeacademic professional to have a representative in the SRC’s styled legislative of the SRC constitution being supreme guide programmes, to producethat highwould level skills for the maritime and Target Marketoffor Degree Programmes assembly. the operations anallied autonomous Student Representative DIPLOMA industries. IN PORTS AND SHIPPING MANAGEMENT • Senior Secondary/High School leavers Council. Our Diploma programme is open to people interested in the maritime industry or ship• G.C.E. ‘A’ Level Holders

REGIONAL MARITIME UNIVERSITY ACCRA, GHANA

Theofelections procedures ping offices corporate organisations. • Former RMU Diploma holders Only students duly registered for the semester are eligible needStudents for a Representative council for students was •TheMature take part AND in election process (voting). Students wishing cannot be overemphasized but the way leading M.A.to •crucial Technical/Polytechnic ACADEMIC PROGRAMMES: PORTS SHIPPING ADMINISTRATION, OIL &orINGAS SAFETY TRAINING aspiring to contest for the positions aforementioned will to the achievement BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (BSc.)of this milestone has never been RMU has capacity to conduct Offshore Safety Induction & Emergency Training INtheMARITIME LAWaBasic have to go through nomination process after Offshore which Safety they Work began with the setting up of a committee to M.A. 1.easy. MARINE ENGINEERING (BOSIET)programmes standard course in Sea Survival, Fire-fighting & Self Rescue, DURATION OFELECTRONIC DEGREE PROGRAMMES (These run in collaboration with thewhether School of they Research and Graduate areHelicopter vetted are by a panel to ascertain qualify to ofENGINEERING the constitution. 2.supervise ELECTRICALthe ANDdrafting Induction, Underwater Escape Training (HUET) with emergency Breathing Studies, University of Ghana, Legon and Shanghai Maritime University, China respecduration of the Degree Programmes is four (4) years of eight 3.TheBSc. NAUTICAL SCIENCE be elected toAid. the offices to which they aspire to be elected. System [EBS] and First tively) (8) PORTS semesters. could be admitted into Level 200 4. AND However, SHIPPINGstudents ADMINISTRATION The constitution The Vetting Committee is composed of; the chairperson or 300 based on the possession of higher qualifications relevant to 5.The COMPUTER ENGINEERING constitution of the Council can be said to be an allof the Electoral Commission, 1 deputy chairperson of theB.course and onAND individual assessment. 6. A. LOGISTICS SHIPPING MANAGEMENT (is run document in Duration 2 members of the legislative encompassing document. The 56 page has Target the Market Electoral/Commission, collaboration with Shanghai Maritime University, (SMU) Senior management personnel in Ports and organizations persons 13 Chapters and 4 Schedules. The constitution is the assembly, 3 other students ofShipping the school invitedand byallthe interested in making a career in the maritime industry. One (1) Year of Two (2) SemesChina. Level 300 of the programme will be taken China). blueprint which dictates the direction of the SRC, which Executive Officers and the SRC legal advisor. ters duration.

The University offers the following programmes:

TO JOIN RMU OR MAKE ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT:

will implement the strategic plan that will direct the path of

the SRCMarket in the short, mediumProgrammes and long terms. Target for Degree

Successful candidates from the vetting process proceed

OF Secondary/High THEthe REGISTRAR MAIN TELS: 712343 /MANAGEMENT 718225 136, 133 or 139 DIPLOMA IN +233-302-712775/ PORTS SHIPPING •OFFICE Senior Schoolofleavers It upholds principles transparency and accountability by being featuredAND on the ballot papers andExt. personal MARITIME UNIVERSITY DIRECT TEL: +233-302-714070; 719390 TEL/FAX: +233-302-714070; 712047; Our Diploma programme is open to people interested in the maritime industry or ship•REGIONAL G.C.E. ‘A’ Level Holders and enshrines the broad participation of all students campaigning and then for to be elected. ping offices of corporate organisations. O.Former BOX GPRMU 1115 EMAILS: registrar@rmu-edu.com marketing@rmu-edu.gh •P.including Diploma holders the Cadets.] A compiled register of voters will be displayed in all •ACCRA, Mature Students GHANA (temporary off) classes and eligible WEBSITE:www.rmu-edu.com students with ID (school) cards 2 • The Technical/Polytechnic OIL &allowed GAS SAFETY SRC finances (dues) to vote TRAINING or partake in the voting process. The constitution directs that the dues be paid ahead of RMU has the capacity to conduct Basic Offshore Safety Induction & Emergency Training & Self Rescue, Offshore Safety time and before a president is elected for the first time (BOSIET) standard course in Sea Survival, Fire-fighting Divine Nana-Banyine Johnson DURATION OF DEGREE PROGRAMMES Induction, Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET) with emergency Breathing allduration the dues collected are held isinfour trust by management Bps 14 (level 100) The of the Degree Programmes (4) years of eight and transition upon which (8)pending semesters.elections However, students could be admitted into Levelthe 200money System [EBS] and First Aid. orwill 300be based on the possession of higher qualifications relevant handed over to elected persons and it is to worth the course and on individual assessment.

OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR REGIONAL MARITIME UNIVERSITY P. O. BOX GP 1115 ACCRA, GHANA 2

TO JOIN RMU OR MAKE ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT:

MAIN TELS: +233-302-712775/ 712343 / 718225 Ext. 136, 133 or 139 DIRECT TEL: +233-302-714070; 719390 TEL/FAX: +233-302-714070; 712047; EMAILS: registrar@rmu-edu.com marketing@rmu-edu.gh WEBSITE:www.rmu-edu.com (temporary off)


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Bsc Marine Engineering

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Diploma In Ports and Shipping Management

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THE JOURNEY OF A

CONTAINER • How do businesses get their goods transported to and from faraway places? • How do the goods get to the right place? • Why are containers used? • What is the best environmentally safe way to transport goods?

Let’s ride through for answers. WHY CONTAINERS? Image supplied courtesy of Port of Melbourne Corporation. Did you know most of the things you use every day, like your TV, computer, refrigerator, clothes, food, furniture etc. spend some time being transported in a shipping container? It is much cheaper to move large containers around than to load and unload boxes of goods from trucks and rail wagons into ships’ holds. Containers are a much safer way to transport goods especially when they are being moved on and off ships. It is also more difficult to steal the goods. Containers are built to standard international sizes, so rail wagons and trucks can be built to carry them anywhere in the world.

Exporters are businesses which send their goods overseas to customers who want to buy their goods. A Freight Forwarder helps to arrange the transport from the Exporter’s country to its destination. Businesses that bring goods into a country from overseas are called Importers. Shipping containers are built in standard sizes. This allows storage boxes and pallets to be manufactured so they fit snugly into a container. The importer will have a warehouse close to transport where they can load and unload containers. You may have driven past some of these buildings with empty containers stacked outside. Depending on the goods, computer programs are used to work out the best arrangement for stacking the goods inside a container. This helps save the exporter and importer money. Also the goods in a full, well-stacked container will not move about and will remain safer from damage.

Loading and unloading shipping containers is much faster than using old methods of handling cargo. The advantages Each shipping container has a unique identification code, are: consisting of letters and numbers. Some containers are • Ships can spend more time at sea transporting more leased from container leasing companies and some goods. • Ships spend a short time in ports saving the ship owner containers are owned by the ship owner. The numbers and letters are used in all papers to keep track of the container money on port fees. • Ships can be larger because it is possible to move large at sea and on land. amounts of cargo quickly. Most containers are transported to a port by truck and • Goods in containers spend less time in port because they are easy to load on and off rail wagons and trucks. some on rail wagons. On arrival the driver is directed to a storage area where the container is stacked along with other containers destined for the same port. If the container Did you know that every day there are about 18 million containers being moved around the world? About a quarter has been stacked properly, the container will be next moved onto the ship. of them move in and out of China. About 90% of the world’s non-bulk cargo spends some time in a container.

THE FIRST STEP IN EXPORTING AND IMPORTING GOODS

How do businesses use containers to export and import their goods?

A CONTAINER SHIP ARRIVING AT A PORT •

A pilot will board the container ship from a boat. The boat is called a pilot launch. The pilot will provide the ship’s captain with directions to navigate through the


• • •

shipping channels to the correct location for the ship to dock. The ship’s crew will communicate with the port authority which will provide a place to dock at a pier or wharf. When the ship enters the port one or more tug boats may assist in docking the ship. The ship will be gently pulled and pushed so it lines up with the pier or wharf. Linespeople on the wharf will be ready to attach the ship’s ropes onto the wharf. At least six ropes will hold the ship in place.

UNLOADING A CONTAINER SHIP The ship has a detailed cargo plan. The plan has the location of each container on the ship and the port for its delivery. The containers that need to be taken off at the port are stacked in groups. The plan is needed so the crane operator knows which containers to take off the ship. The planners make sure that the crane operator does not need to move too many containers around to get to the ones they need to unload. Once the required containers are unloaded, the ship may still have many containers to be delivered to other ports. The ship will have a new cargo plan that shows the crane operator where to stack new containers. As part of the cargo plan, the weight of the containers is spread evenly over the ship. This prevents the ship from becoming unbalanced. Using the cargo plan, the stevedores select the containers to unload from the ship. Stevedores operate the cranes and hook up the loaded containers. A spreader hangs from the crane. There are four smaller lifting cables that hang from the spreader. Fittings on each corner of the container are locked onto the four smaller cables by the stevedores.

Waiting on the wharf below the crane will be a straddle carrier or forklift. Once in place, the lifting cables will be unlocked from the spreader or the container itself. The container is driven to a storage area where it will be stacked with others that will be transported to the same location. Because of the weight of loaded containers they should only be handled with spreaders which are the same size as the top of the container. Empty containers can be lifted by the four lifting wires or by a simple forklift lifting it from the middle of the container’s base. While the ship is being unloaded, the crew may need to pump water into ballast tanks to keep the ship balanced. Checking cargo coming into Australia Image supplied courtesy of the Australian Customs Service They must also look for weapons that could be used by criminals or terrorists. Most containers are ‘inspected’ using x-ray equipment; however, some containers are opened and inspected by Customs officers. There are too many containers for all of them to be opened and inspected. Customs officers use intelligence received from many sources to target which containers should be opened and the contents inspected. Sometimes Customs officers find drugs and weapons hidden in the cargo in a container. Before cargo that has been unloaded from the ship is allowed to leave the dock, Customs will need to check the cargo type. Some cargo will be taxed and Customs will need to charge the importer the correct amount of tax or duty. Customs officers will also inspect thousands of containers. They will make sure that importers are not trying to avoid tax. They will be looking for drugs and other items which


are illegal to import. Customs and Quarantine will be inspecting containers to see if any goods could be carrying diseases or unwanted insects and other animals that cause problems for food growers and the environment.

KEEPING TRACK OF CONTAINERS Each container has its own code printed on it. It’s a set of letters and numbers. To find out more about the codes printed on containers go to: www.bic-code.org/presentation-of-the-biccodes.html The code of each container is used in the cargo plan so the stevedores know which containers need to be moved. Some containers have very valuable cargo. They can be fitted with a radio tracking device that can be monitored by satellites. This allows the owner of the cargo to locate the container anywhere in the world. It does not matter whether the container is on a ship or truck or rail wagon.

TRANSPORTING CONTAINERS FROM THE PORT BY ROAD AND RAIL The unloaded containers must be cleared by Customs and there must be no quarantine issues before the containers can be picked up and delivered to their next destination. Sometimes the containers may need to be

loaded onto another ship but they are mostly picked up by railway wagons or trucks and semi-trailers. Trains and trucks arrive at the port. The drivers are directed to the correct location. A plan of the stored containers is consulted and the correct containers located. Forklifts remove the containers from the pile in the storage area and place them on the semi-trailer or railway wagon. The corners of the container can be locked down onto the rail wagon or truck. They are then taken to warehouses where the cargo can be removed from the containers. The unpacked boxes can be taken to the final destination by smaller trucks, e.g. if the cargo is TVs or computers they will be taken to the shop where they will be sold.

A QUICK TURNAROUND Ports need to be able to work quickly to unload and load ships and keep track of all the containers. Ships want to get in and out of port as quickly as possible. Businesses want to move their goods quickly as well. Train and truck drivers want to deliver and pick up containers as quickly as possible. A lot of organization is needed to make sure that no one part of the transport system slows down the movement of goods.

Compiled by: Anab K. Abudu (chief7)

WHEN I SAY I AM A CHRISTIAN • When I say I am a Christian, I’m not shouting I’m clean living. I’m whispering I was lost but now found and forgiven. • When I say I am a Christian, I don’t speak of this with pride. I’m confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide. • When I say I am a Christian, I’m not trying to be strong. I’m professing that I’m weak and need His strength to carry on. • When I say I am a Christian, I’m not bragging of success. I’m admitting I have

failed and need God to clean my mess. • When I say I am a Christian, I’m not claiming to be perfect. My flaws are far too visible but God believes I am worth it. • When I say I am a Christian, I still feel the sting of pain. I have my share of headaches so I call upon his name. • When I say I am a Christian, I’m not holier than thou. I’m just a simple sinner who received God’s good Grace, somehow.


IS OKRO BAD FOR MEN? Eating a right diet may not worry you if you are told that inappropriate eating can put you at risk of heart problems and even poor mood. But, but as an African man, it should be your concern that a wrong choice of food may make you unable to father a child Scientists trying to understand why in folk medicine in South West Nigeria, men are advised against the consumption of okra (lady’s finger), found that its extract under laboratory conditions actually causes a reduction in semen quality and quantity, reduction in serum male hormonal level as well as atrophy of the testes. Okra is a shrub that grows to about two meters with yellow flower and succulent seed pod emanating from the flower. Both the leaves and the seed pod are major ingredients in several local dishes across West African countries. The seed pod is used to thicken soup, stews and sauces. The roasted seed can serve as coffee substitute. Because of its high fiber content, the stem is used in making paper. As a green vegetable, it is a good source of Iron, Vitamin C, Calcium and dietary fiber. Usually, in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility among couples the male factor is now been taken seriously. This is because several reports have put the male factor in infertility among married couples at different degrees ranging from 36.8 per cent to 70 per cent. The researchers in understanding why in folk medicine, men are warned against the antifertility of okra, studied its effect in adult male Sprague Dawley rats. They were housed in standard plastic cages in a clean animal room. Clean water and feed were provided throughout the experimental period. The animals were grouped into three, with one serving as a control group. At the end of the experimental period, each group of animals was anesthetized before they were made to undergo semen analysis. Semen analysis was carried out using their testes and the epididymids. Blood samples were collected from the animals into sterile bottles for hormonal assay.

This was published in the Journal of Phytology by Dr. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello from the Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Lagos State University in collaboration with Temitope Ijiwole and Funmileyi Awobajo from the Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos.

It was entitled “Evaluation of the deleterious effects of aqueous fruit extract of Abelmoschus esculentus (okra fruit) on some male reproductive parameters in Sprague dawley rats.” In their assessment, there was a reduction in the weight of the testes of treated rats, secretion of testosterone and sperm production (spermatogenesis). The weight of the prostate gland which is an accessory organ of male reproduction, responsible for secreting 20 per cent by volume of semen sample and some other nutrients required for quality sperm, was also significantly reduced in treated rats While attributing the reduction in sperm count in the treated rats to the reduction in weight and degenerative changes in the testes of the treated rats, they reported that the treated rats had a significant increase in the presence of abnormal sperm cells. However, from the study, they pointed out that the treated animals were not able to recover from this deleterious effect of administering the water extract of okra within the two weeks recovery period allowed. Meanwhile, several vegetables that are eaten or used for medicinal purposes have been reported as having effects on both male reproductive functions. These include aqueous extract of Spondias mombin bark, referred to as Iyeye among the Yoruba speaking communities. Others are water extracts of seeds of Ricinus communis and pawpaw as well as neem. Okra is indigenous to tropical Africa and it is said to be boiled in salted water and eaten as a cure for heartburn, in particular the heartburn of late pregnancy. Okra has several other benefits. The superior fiber found in okra


helps to stabilize blood sugar by curbing the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the intestinal tract. Its mucilage binds cholesterol and bile acid carrying toxins dumped into it by the filtering liver. Decoction of its young fruit is useful for catarrh. Okra helps lubricate the large intestines due to its bulk laxative qualities. The okra fiber absorbs water and ensures bulk in stools. This helps to prevent and improve constipation. Unlike harsh wheat bran, which can irritate or injure the intestinal tract, okra’s mucilage soothes, and okra facilitates elimination more comfortably by its slippery characteristic. Okra binds excess cholesterol and toxins (in bile acids). Okra is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering from depression. It has been used for healing ulcers and to keep joints agile.

ONE MINUTE AND A THOUSAND TO YOU by Ofoe Amegavie on Monday, 11 January 2010 at 13:37 Growing up we were thought the formal way of writing the ‘myself’ composition where we were supposed to tell stuff like our name, our age, about our parents where they worked and all that. We also wrote the kind of jobs we would love to do when we grew up, my friends would always write things like they wanted to be doctors, lawyers, pilots and other professions and surprisingly some back then wrote that they would like to be teachers funny how now some of would consider the teaching profession a curse. I happened to be part of the ‘PILOT wishing to be’ population of students In Ghana and here I am, 20 something years and laughing at that little boy saying “FOOLISH CHILD how the hell are we going to do that man? We are so scared of heights”. I mean sometimes we wish some things for ourselves for example at that young age not knowing that life has its own plans for us. Here I am at age just over 20 and I have not long ago had my first walk on the canopy walkway (a very scary experience for me) because I am afraid of heights and let alone never been on a plane in my life. How the hell I am going to make that little boys dream come true? Never, because of my grown up, self realized realities of life. Okay some people will say I can always get over the fear of heights and all that encouraging stuff they say, you know the “anything is possible in life if you put your mind to it” speech, well there is also the case that I am no more interested in flying a plane. Here I am so interested in the arts and all its beauty, love for music and poetry. The desire to make myself a figure of art itself, a house of words and pictures, the need to express myself through the beauty of my senses. These wishes and dreams of mine which have evolved from those of ‘little me’ to now have become more like a necessary part of me to save my life, through the happiness of fulfilling

them. All I am saying is sometimes we have to put the wants of the world aside, wants of the world to be seen as one of prestige and power and importance. It got to a time in my life when I wanted to be an architect when I discovered that I had knack for working with the pencil, I was good with drawing anything but Technical drawing. Then I thought it would be more profitable and respectable to draw up buildings instead of the happiness I felt whenever I finished with a drawing of somebody or any other thing I drew. I was going to give up my happiness for wants of the world which I did anyway, gave up drawing from the soul to drawing for grades, also I had to give up to work for the other requirements that came with the chosen path of mine. I ended up not getting into the university as I did not qualify for architecture as I had over looked the fact that I was not good with Physics. Fate has its way of working its self out as I am now pursuing a course in Ports and Shipping,one that I has made me realize how much I love art, the frustration of not passing one paper made me pick up a pen and I wrote down what I was going through, out of my soul and this led me to realize how I once loved to express myself. Fate has its own way of catching up with us, we may choose some path or another for ourselves but then in the end we end up where we were meant to be. Whatever powers be (In my case GOD) makes us fit in in this world just beautifully and there is nothing we can do about it. We make this world a beauty and like a garden each flower and every tiny bit of grass. Search through and find which colour of the rainbow you are and let it out. Call me a Freaking Hippie or whatever at the end of it all I might not be the artist I think I am, DESTINY DECIDES……….


The Chairmans Report (2010-2011) The Regional Maritime University Student Magazine “From Shore to Sea” since its first production in2004/2005 academic year has over the years maintained high standard to it production and activities. This year hasn’t been any different. New members were recruited as usual at the beginning of the year and the board took on eight more members. The main activity for the year has been vigorous sale of the previous edition of “from shore to sea”. The board has also produced newsletters reporting incidents that happen on campus and providing the opportunity for students to express their views in writing. The main focus for this year’s activities was geared towards the production of this edition of “From Shore to Sea” which included soliciting for funds, picture taking, soliciting for articles and conducting interviews. The board also participated in all school activities especially this year’s cultural week event which was used as an avenue for fund raising. The board in collaboration with the interim SRC held the first presidential debate for SRC presidential aspirants and provided an avenue for manifesto reading as well. The Editorial board has had a very challenging but successful year and we owe special gratitude to our patrons, management of the school and the student body. We hope that we will continue to receive the needed support to continue in our activities to make the board a better one.

Abena Oppon-Kusi

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