Africa Seeks Greater Representation in IMO Council

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  •  Demands share of global maritime trade

Eromosele Abiodun

The Chairman of the Association of African Maritime Administration (AAMA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has called for increased representation of the continent in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Council and its Secretariat.

Peterside made the appeal when he led a delegation of some members of AAMA Executive Committee to meet with the IMO Secretary General, Mr. Kitack Lim at the organisation’s headquarters in London.
He stated the need for Africa’s proportionate representation to commensurate with the size of the continent’s membership of IMO.

The NIMASA DG also charged African stakeholders in the maritime sector to work together to ensure the continent takes its rightful place in the global maritime community.

Africa, he stressed, is a major stakeholder in maritime hence the need to take its rightful place, adding that it can only happen if stakeholders work together.

The AAMA chairman said: “You will agree with me that the number of African nations at the council of the IMO is disproportionate to the size of the continent’s representation at the global maritime body, therefore to drive Africa’s maritime sector development agenda, there is need for a proportionate and effective representation of the continent in council and at the secretariat.”

Peterside noted the various initiatives embarked upon by the AAMA leadership including cooperation by the member nations in capacity building, to impact on the continent’s maritime sector.

While commending the IMO for the technical support so far extended to members on the African continent, Peterside solicited for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the IMO and AAMA to have an integrated position, adding that this would aid a many African countries needing technical support.

In his response, the IMO Secretary General, Lim lauded the African maritime administrations for their high level organisation and a proactive leadership of AAMA with a drive towards ensuring that Africa maritime sector remains viable.
He urged African nations to continue working closely to remain a formidable block that would be of influence in decision making at the IMO.
The IMO Scribe pledged to continue to champion greater assistance to developing countries so they will benefit more from global maritime trade.

He promised to liaise with technical staff of IMO and get back to AAMA on the various requests made.
Speaking on the need for Africa to have its fair share of global maritime trade, he said: “Africa is a major stakeholder in maritime so we must take our rightful place and that can only happen if we work together, and these cooperation issues would be brought to the front burner during the meeting of the Executive committee of AAMA coming up in September in Egypt .”

Lim also noted that AAMA has put in place policies that will enhance African maritime administrations working as a block to get a better share of the global maritime trade beginning with representation at the IMO.