Newly appointed Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Managing Director , Ms Catherine Wairi- Mturi will be among key speakers at a Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA) 2016 Conference slated for the is destined for the Sudan.
Catherine, the first woman to head the giant parastatal will be making her first overseas visit after she was confirmed as the substantive CEO of KPA to the conference to be held between November 27th to December 2, 2016 .
PMAESA is an Inter-governmental Organization operating under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) with its Secretariat in Mombasa, Kenya.
A communique’ from PMAESA stated that the event to be held at a resort on the Sea Port Sudan will be a crème de la Crème of Africa’s Port industry and maritime world .
‘’The KPA chief will be attending and will be speaking on a case study on Investment Opportunities and Infrastructure from Kenyan perspective,’’ PMAESA Communications Officer, George Sunguh.
The conference themed ‘Port Strategy for Harnessing the African Blue Economy and Investment Options’ has attracted key speakers with a wealth of knowledge in the maritime industry and the port sector who will deliberate on the best ways to harness the economic potential of the maritime subsector.
The conference will be organized and hosted by PMAESA in conjunction with the Sea Port Corporation Sudan.
Mr. Antonio Pedro, the Director of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)’s Sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa, based in Kigali, Rwanda is among the latest key speakers to accept to grace the occasion.
Mr. Pedro will give an ‘Outlook at the African Blue Economy- unexploited potential and ongoing initiatives.’ He is a mineral exploration geologist from Mozambique with decades of broad experience of and exposure to development issues and management at national, sub-regional, and continental levels.
“I am very honoured to be invited to participate in the PMAESA Annual Conference …It will be a great pleasure for me to attend the event,” said Mr. Pedro as he confirmed his participation. He co-authored the Blue Economy Policy Handbook, which was officially launched in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 3 April 2016 during the African Development Week.
Mr. Eric Chinje, Chief Executive of the Nairobi based African Media Initiative will dole out the role of the media in harnessing the African blue economy, while Mr. Michael Luguje, the Executive Secretary of Pan African Association of Ports Cooperation (PAPC) and the Secretary General Port Management Association of Western and Central Africa (PMAWCA) will give a benchmark of the Blue economy from the African perspective.
The conference will run concurrently with an international exhibition where ports in the region and port equipment manufacturer, suppliers and service providers will showcase their products.
African leaders have finally come to appreciate the fact that marine ecosystems constitute a rich and diverse assets that if harnessed will go a long way in creating jobs and improving livelihoods of the coastal state national.
The South African government took the lead several years ago when President Jacob Zuma’s government launched what he termed ‘Operation Phakisa’ an adaptation of the Big Fast Results Methodology of Malaysia to harness the immense wealth that lie below the azure blue waters that hug the African shorelines.
President Zuma stated during the launch of ‘Operation Phakisa’ that oceans have the potential to contribute up to 177 billion rand to the Gross Domestic Product and create just over one million jobs by 2033.
To further explore this potential, the government brought together teams from government, labour, business, academia and other sectors to work together in experimental laboratories, to explore all possibilities and further unlock the potential of our country’s vast coastline.
Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles and Madagascar have followed suit by launching their own respective national integrated maritime policies aimed at harnessing the sector.
(Story by Cynthia Obadia-Mombasa)