By Harrison Kivisu
Kenya has been re-elected into the 40 member governing council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for the 2020-2021 period as it banks on commitment to spur the multi-billion blue economy.
Member countries under this category have special interests in maritime transport or navigation and they are elected to ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world.
The latest election was done on the 29th regular session of the IMO general assembly in London last Friday.
The IMO is the United Nations specialised agency responsible for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.
Kenya’s Maritime and Shipping Affairs Principal Secretary Nancy Karigithu accompanied by Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) Managing Director Maj (Rtd) George Nyamoko Okon’go led Kenyan delegation to the IMO headquarters in London to rally members.
“We are hugely delighted to be tested in this way and to be found meriting of the confidence of our peers. We will continue to devote out time, efforts and resources in the development of safety and security of shipping and sustainable growth of the maritime sector,” said Karigithu.
Speaking after the re-election, the PS said Kenya now will be part of the executive organ of IMO.
“We will now be of benefit to not only for the region but also for the wider international maritime community. Her re-election to the council under Category ‘C’ will serve the interests of the Eastern and Central Africa sub-region, Horn of Africa and West Indian Ocean and the international maritime community in general,” added Karigithu.
This happened as Kenya gears to implement IMO, 2020 sulphur limit requirements after the IMO adopted an amendment to MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 14 on Sulphur Oxides (SOx) and particulate matter which will enter into force on January 1, 2020.
This will ensure that all ships docking at the Mombasa port from Overseas will be required to get an International Air Pollution Prevention (IAPP) Certificate by KMA to show compliance on 0.5 percent sulphur content limit.
IMO has set a limit of 0.50 percent m/m (mass by mass) in fuel oil used or carried for use on board a ship for vessels operating outside designated emission control areas.
All sizes of ships will be required to use fuel oil that meets the 0.5 percent sulphur content requirement.
Kenya, which joined IMO in 1973, has held the council membership from 2000-2003, 2006-2007, 2008-2009 to 2013, before its recent re-election.
Kenya was contesting among other countries: Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey.