Big win for Kenya as it wade off stiff competition to retain its seat at global maritime council and shape the global shipping industry

Big win for Kenya as it retain its seat at International Maritime Organisation. (courtesy)
  • On Friday, 174 member states took part in electing new members who will serve for two years in the United Nations specialized agency.
  • Kenya joined the IMO in 1973 and was first elected to the Council under Category “C” in 2001.
  •  28 candidates were gunning for the 20 slots at the global maritime council.

Kenya has done it again and will continue playing a role in shaping the global shipping industry.

The country has retained its seat on the Council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) after wading off stiff competition.

On Friday, 174 member states took part in electing new members who will serve for two years in the United Nations specialized agency charged with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.

Kenya successfully retained its seat under Category C of 20 countries usually reserved for those with special interest in maritime transport or navigation. Kenya joined the IMO in 1973 and was first elected to the Council under Category “C” in 2001 and has been re-elected in subsequent elections to date, the last being in 2017.

“Our re-election to Council will ensure continued representation of a major geographic area in Eastern Africa and the Great Lakes region consisting of the countries Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda,” said Maritime Principal Secretary Nancy Karigithu who led the delegation to the polls on Saturday.

In Africa, Morocco, South Africa, Liberia and Egypt are the other members of Category. Some marine and shipping giants like Sweden, Nigeria and Liberia lost their bids. Qatar, a wealthy oil producer as well as Saudi Arabia also lost out.

This year, Category C turned out to be very competitive with many of the contesting countries sparing no resources to secure a seat at the table. 28 candidates were gunning for the 20 slots at the global maritime council.

With more than 80% of global trade running on seas, the IMO's regulatory framework determines how shipping lines and ports operate.

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