Sandra Opoku stands as a trailblazer in the maritime industry, breaking gender barriers and making history as the first female Director of Port at the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority. Her journey in this male-dominated field is marked by determination, expertise, and a commitment to excellence.
Opoku’s educational journey laid a solid foundation for her illustrious career. After completing her O and A Levels at St Roses Senior High School in Akwatia, Eastern Region, she pursued a degree in Law at the University of Ghana. She further honed her legal expertise at the Ghana School of Law, being called to the Bar in October 2001. In 2004, Opoku pursued a Master in International Maritime Law at the International Maritime Law Institute in Malta, showcasing her commitment to continuous learning and specialization in her field.
Joining the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority in 2003, Opoku’s career trajectory within the organization has been impressive. She has served in various capacities, including as a lawyer, General Manager in charge of Administration, General Manager in charge of Legal, and Board Secretary. Her wealth of experience culminated in her appointment as the acting Director of the Tema Ports in March 2019.
Opoku’s leadership at the Tema Port has been marked by notable achievements. Under her administration, the port has witnessed significant improvements and operational enhancements.
Notably, she played a crucial role in the negotiation and implementation of initiatives aimed at retooling the Tema Ports and Harbours Authority. This includes the acquisition of 27 teletrucks and two cranes, with plans for the delivery of ten laden reach stackers between October 2023 and February 2024.
Opoku has also shown a commitment to environmental sustainability. In July 2023, she participated in a tree planting exercise alongside the Mayor of Tema, reflecting her dedication to fostering eco-friendly practices within the port community.
One of the standout moments during Opoku’s tenure was the impressive half-year performance of the Port of Tema in December 2021. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the port recorded substantial gains in container and cargo traffic. Noteworthy increases were observed in transhipment and trade volumes, attesting to Opoku’s adept management skills and strategic decision-making.
Her influential role has not only broken barriers but also championed inclusivity, paving the way for more women to confidently assume significant positions in this traditionally male-dominated field. Through her accomplishments, Sandra Opoku encourages capable women to embrace leadership roles, fostering a more diverse and empowered landscape within the industry.
By Ruth Esi Amfua Sekyi-Public Sector Global Magazine
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