MARITIME POSITION

Kenya retains her global maritime seat at IMO

In Summary

• Kenya has has retained her seat at the International Maritime Organization – IMO.

• This will see the country continue to be  part of the Executive Organ of IMO for the  2020/21 biennium. Kenya is among 20 states in this category (c).

Principal Secretary, Shipping and Maritime Nancy Karigithu (Centre) pauses for a photo with Kenyan delegation in the UK
Principal Secretary, Shipping and Maritime Nancy Karigithu (Centre) pauses for a photo with Kenyan delegation in the UK
Image: COURTESY

Kenya has has retained her seat at the International Maritime Organization – IMO.

This will see the country continue to be  part of the Executive Organ of IMO for the  2020/21 biennium.

Kenya is among 20 states in this category (c).

These are states not elected under Category (a) or (b), who have special interests in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world.

 
 

The move comes following the 31st Regular Session of the IMO General Assembly on 29th November, 2019 at the IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom.

Kenya was elected to the IMO Council Category(c)  together with Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kuwait, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, and Turkey.

The Assembly of the IMO also for the 2020-2021 biennium elected China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States under category (a).

These are States with the largest interest in providing international shipping services.

Category (b) has 10 States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.

Foreign affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma said the re-election is a clear indication that Kenya continues to enjoy global confidence in the maritime sphere.

Principal Secretary, Shipping and Maritime Nancy Karigithu said Kenya has special interests in maritime transport and safe navigation as a Coastal, Port and Flag State.

She said the country has had a long sea trading tradition spanning hundreds of years, linking Asia, the Middle East and the rest of the World.

According to her, the Kenyan coastline lies along major maritime trading and tanker routes between Europe, the Far East and the Americas.

 
The sea port of Mombasa is an important gateway to the Eastern and central Africa region, serving a combined population of over three hundred (300) million people
Nancy Karigithu, Principal Secretary, Shipping and Maritime 

Karigithu added, "Kenya has been a proud member of this Organization for over forty-two (42) years and has been humbled to serve on the Council from 2001 and to have previously served as chairman of the Technical Cooperation Committee as well as served on the Boards of the World Maritime University and IMLI, and as IMSO Vice President for Africa. For this we are entirely grateful". 

Karigithu led the Kenyan Delegation which consisted of the Kenyan High Commissioner to the UK, Manoa Esipisu, the Kenya Maritime Authority  Board Chairperson, Geoffrey Mwango, the Director General and Kenya Maritime Authority, Maj (Rtd) George Nyamoko Okon’go.

Kenya joined the IMO in 1973 and was first elected to the Council under Category (c) in 2001.

Since then, the country has been re-elected in subsequent elections to date.

As a member of the IMO Council, Kenya will be part of the Executive Organ of IMO and will be responsible together with other elected Member Countries, under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the IMO.

It will also coordinate the activities of the organs of the IMO, consider the draft work programmes and budget estimates of the IMO and submit them to the Assembly as well as receive reports and proposals of the Committees and other organs and submit them to the Assembly and Member States, with comments and recommendations as appropriate.

Kenya will further take part in the election of the Secretary-General, subject to the approval of the Assembly and enter into agreements or arrangements concerning the relationship of the Organization with other organizations.

Karigithu said Kenya's re-election to the Council under Category ‘c’since 2001 has provided a solid voice at the IMO for Eastern Africa and the Great Lakes region including Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Republic of Tanzania, Uganda.