32 Africas maritime bodies meet in Abuja

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In a bid to continue to improve on its role as a global player in the comity of maritime nations, Nigeria would be hosting the 3rdConference of the Association of Heads of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA Conference) in Abuja, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, from April 19-21.

The meeting which will be hosted by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in conjunction with International Maritime Organization (IMO) according to the Director General NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, will bring together all the major Maritime Administrators and leading stakeholders in Africa to discuss various issues and ways of improving the maritime sector in the continent. Thius was contained in a statement by the head of Public Affairs of NIMASA, Mr. Isichei Osamgbi.

Thirty two countries from all parts of Africa are expected to participate at the continental conference and a number of maritime stakeholder organizations around the world. The IMO delegation of five will be led by Mr. Kitack Lim the Secretary General of IMO which is a United Nations specialized agency that regulates shipping globally.

The Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA) was formed following the signing of the African Transport and Maritime Charter in 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the aim of the association is to promote the Development of Africa’s maritime regulatory and maritime environment.

Dr. Peterside disclosed that “the hosting of this conference in Nigeria is in line with the economic diversification agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration, and the repositioning agenda of the present Management to make Nigerian maritime industry a leading light in Africa and the global maritime sector”. He noted that it will open a new vista of opportunities to the teeming unemployed youths, as well as unlock the potentials inherent in the maritime sector. This is just as the conference could serve as a platform towards Nigeria’s re-election into the IMO Council seat later in November this year.

AAMA, which brings together all players in the African maritime sector, is also an umbrella body of five African Maritime Stakeholders’ groups namely: Association of Maritime Administrations of Africa, Africa’s Ship Registry Forum, African Ship Owners Association as well as Africa Shippers’ Council and Seafarers’ Forum.

The NIMASA Director General stated further that “the benefits of hosting the conference cannot be over emphasized, it will equally avail stakeholders in the Nigerian maritime industry an opportunity to rub minds with their counterparts across Africa and the globe, and further chart a way forward for the African maritime sector. It will effectively signal the arrival of the country in the global maritime arena as a respectable global voice”.

This would be the 3rd AAMA Conference as the inaugural and the second conferences were held in Mombasa, Kenya in 2012 and South-Africa in 2013 respectively. It should be noted that the 3rdedition which Nigeria is now hosting was earlier scheduled to hold in the country in 2014 but was called off.

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