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The efficient port

Annette Skovsted Hansen is heading a new research project that aims to map and improve capacity development efforts in the maritime sector in Ghana. The project has received a grant of almost DKK 5 million from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

2019.03.21 | Ulrik Albert Vosgerau

Annette Skovsted Hansen


A new research project investigates how capacity development in and around Tema Port, which is the largest port in Ghana, can contribute to sustainable industrialisation of Ghana, now that Denmark is phasing out its development aid to focus on trade relations.

“There are many stakeholders involved in the operation of an international port – from the local port authority, to government departments, to international shipping companies such as Maersk. We have prepared the project through interviews with a wide range of these stakeholders, which has helped us shape the project,” says Annette Skovsted Hansen, associate professor at Aarhus University and head of the project.

An engine of economic growth
The network-based research project will investigate a large number of factors that play a role in the capacity development of Tema Port.

“The project will examine how the various stakeholders will handle the paradigm shift when the Danish government changes the focus of its commitment in Ghana from “aid” to “trade”. Our subprojects investigate the economic, political and commercial effect of the development opportunities that the port staff is offered in relation to digitisation, management and best practice. In the long term, it can give us a better understanding of how countries such as Ghana can use the maritime sector as an engine of growth,” explains Annette Skovsted Hansen. As a historian, she is particularly interested in the potential of shipping as a global history topic.


The project entitled “Port Efficiency and Public Private Capacity in Ghana (PEPP)” runs for three years and has been granted DKK 4,997,029 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

Project participants also include:

  • Associate Professor Casper Andersen, School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University
  • Associate Professor Torben Andersen, Department of Business Development and Technology, Aarhus University
  • Associate Professor George Acheampong, University of Ghana Business School
  • Assistant Professor Jonas Aryee, Faculty of Maritime Studies, Regional Maritime University, Ghana

PEPP focuses on implicit and explicit alliances between public and private players in shaping capacity development programmes with due regard for the constantly changing port service economy at Tema Port in Ghana. 

PEPP is relevant to policy-making in the Ghanaian maritime sector, to the Danish strategic sector collaboration with Ghana, to Danish companies and to the Danish aid-to-trade strategy for Ghana, all seeking efficient measures to ensure sustainable capacity development in the Ghanaian maritime sector through public-private partnerships.

Annette Skovsted Hansen, Associate professor
School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University
Web: http://pure.au.dk/portal/en/ostash@cas.au.dk
Email: ostash@cas.au.dk
Tel.: +45 87 16 23 03