The choice of Kenya as the host country of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) new regional Maritime Technology Cooperative Centre (MTCC) for the African region is a welcome development certain to further strengthen and enhance ongoing collaboration, knowledge sharing and innovation in the continent’s maritime sector development and growth.
This was the view of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) following to confirmation that the IMO awarded the hosting rights of the MTCC to the East African country last month. The Africa host of the new MTCC was announced as the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) together with the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA).
According to the IMO, the new Africa region MTCC will be one of five to be set up from this year in other countries as a part of a European Commission/IMO joint initiative to build capacity for climate mitigation in the world’s maritime shipping industry. They will be developed and funded by the European Commission to the tune of €10 000 000 (R139.42-million) over fours years,
The first two were announced in December 2016 as the Shanghai Maritime University in China (MTCC-Asia) and the University of Trinidad and Tobago (MTCC-Caribbean.)
According to the European Commission this four-year project will enable developing countries, especially Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States, in five target regions – Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific, to effectively implement energy-efficiency and emissions reduction measures through technical assistance and capacity building. These regions have been chosen as they have significant number of LDCs and SIDSs.
Following to the issuance of an invitation for expressions of interests by the IMO to member countries last June, 43 countries across the world, including nine in Africa responded. The African countries included South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Morocco, Egypt, Ghana, Tanzania, Madagascar and Nigeria.
South Africa’s bid was made jointly by the Department of Transport, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and the South Africa International Maritime Institute (SAIMI).
In a statement last month the IMO announced that: “Under the Global MTTC Network (GMN) project, JKUAT will host MTCC-Africa in collaboration with Kenya Ports Authority and Kenya Maritime Authority. The selection of JKUAT followed a competitive international tendering process.
“In the coming months two further MTCCs will be established in other target regions – Latin America and the Pacific – to form a global network of such centres.
“The five regional MTCCs will deliver the agreed project milestones over a three-year period, making a significant contribution to IMO’s continuing, widespread efforts to ensure effective implementation and enforcement of the global energy-efficiency regulations for international shipping.”
South Africa a focal point of the Africa MTCC
With the announcement SAMSA applauded Kenya and immediately committed to “South Africa’s concurrence to act as a focal point for the implementation of the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre in Kenya.”
South Africa’s inclusion as a ‘focal point’ of the Africa region MTCC to be based in Nairobi was part of a broader arrangement on how the new centre will operate based on IMO requirements.
In correspondence with the Kenyan State Department of Shipping and Maritime Affairs and the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, SAMSA says, “We confirm that we shall undertake the roles listed and required of the Focal Point by the IMO and to do all that will be necessary to ensure the success of the MTCC,” SAMSA said.
“Your (Kenyan) nomination of South Africa as a country focal point of the MTCC Africa for the Southern Africa region is testimony that proves a shared desire preoccupation which will serve to strengthen collaboration between our two countries.”