Pretoria: 09 March 2018
The Africa maritime region’s contribution to improvement of trade ships’ compliance with international regulations on energy efficiency and particularly the uptake of low-carbon technologies is well underway following to the formal convening for the first time, of members of the Africa region’s Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC-Africa) in Mombasa, Kenya recently.
The MTCC-Africa is a newly launched International Maritime Organization (IMO) and European Commission funded initiative known as the Global MTCCs Network (GMN), with centres also in Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and Pacific regions.
According to the IMO, the initiative funded to the tune of €10 000 000 over four years in 2017 is geared towards building capacity in the targeted regions for climate mitigation in the world’s maritime shipping industry.
In fact, that is its theme: ‘Capacity Building for Climate Change Mitigation in the Maritime Shipping Industry’
This, according to the IMO, comes against the backdrop of scientifically verified mounting concerns that Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from maritime shipping industry will continue to increase globally.
Compounding the problem is that developing countries which continue to play a significant role in international shipping, lack the means to improve energy efficiency in their shipping sectors.
The IMO initiative’s funder, the European Commission states that: “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.”
The Africa region centre, approved a year ago this month, is being hosted jointly by the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) and the Kenya Ports Authority.
Member countries to the MTCC-Africa centre, among them ‘focus point’ countries including South Africa, gathered in Mombasa for their inaugural meeting in December 2017.
South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) officials that attended the event along with representatives of 12 other African countries, report that the launch ceremony of the MTCC-Africa was led by Ms Nancy Karigithu, Principal Secretary of Kenya Maritime and Shipping Affairs.
The line-up of speakers included Mr Stefan Micallef, Assistant Secretary General and IMO Director of the Marine Environment Division and Mr Bruno Pozzi, the Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Kenya.
Mr Elijah Ramulifho, Senior Manager: Maritime Policy at SAMSA who was one of two officials to represent the agency at the meeting says key issues discussed included; climate change mitigation requirements for shipping lines; laws against marine pollution (MARPOL Annex VI); the greening of maritime shipping through energy efficiency, low carbon technologies and data collection.
“A significant amount of time was spent on break-away sessions where case studies and scenarios were discussed for different African regions. Countries represented included South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Madagascar and Mauritius.
“Country Focal Points (that include South Africa) were requested to make presentations on the respective country’s state of affairs on issues related to MARPOL Annex VI and its implementation, expectations on what sort of assistance can MTCC-Africa bring to facilitate effective and efficient implementation, and any lessons learned during the workshop and/or any experience to share with delegates from other countries and the African region at large,” he says.
The MTCC-Africa ‘focal points’ cover the entire continent from the North (Suez / Mediterranean), the West (Atlantic), Central (Landlocked Countries), South African, East (Indian Ocean) and Small Islands States.
The Deputy Head of the European Union Delegation to Kenya, Mr. Bruno Pozzi told the gathered African country delegates that the region’s participation in the global effort was timely in terms of the established need for collaborative global action against climate change.
“Tragic events induced by climate change are witnessed globally. The European Union knows well that climate change can bring about an unprecedented reversal in the progress towards poverty eradication and can undermine efforts towards sustainable and inclusive development.
“Africa is particularly vulnerable – droughts and flooding equally testify to this,” said Mr Pozzi further urging that all countries and regions, together with all economic sectors, had a responsibility and were expected to make their fair contribution towards attainment of the climate goals agreed in Paris in 2015.
“The shipping industry is no exception to this. That’s why the European Union supports this centre we are opening today. Mombasa as one of the major ports in Africa is a fitting host city for Africa’s Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre. This opportunity should be seized to the maximum. I invite all African states with maritime shipping activities to collaborate with the MTCC-Africa”.
Going forward over the next three years, Mr Ramulifho says MTCC-Africa will be the focal point for pilot projects slated to promote uptake of energy efficient and low carbon technologies, data collection, analysis and reporting on fuel consumption; and baseline surveys of air quality within African ports.
“Some of the important resolutions included the need to constitute the Regional (African) Steering Committee for the development of Terms of Reference for engagement and future MTCC-Africa activities; need to develop MOUs between all the Focal Point Countries and MTCC-Africa” says Mr Ramulifho.
The next gathering of the MTCC-Africa is scheduled for Toamasina in Madagascar on 16 – 17 May 2018.
Contact details of the MTCC-Africa:
Physical Address: Jomo University of Agriculture and Technology, Mombasa Campus, JKUAT Main Campus, Office of the Vice Chancellor, P. O. Box 62000 – 00200 Nairobi, Juja, off Thika Superhighway, Kenya
Telephone: +254 67 5870001-4 Ext 2374/5 or 2335 +254 708 503 849
gmn.imo.org/mtcc/africa/ OR http://mtccafrica.jkuat.ac.ke/