, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 21 – Juvenal Shiundu of Kenya is the only African candidate vying for the post of Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Shiundu is contesting against five other candidates from Europe and Asia.
“The Government of Kenya has requested the support of the Pan African Association for Port Cooperation (PAPC) for its candidate, Juvenal Shiundu for election to the post of Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO),” PAPC Executive Secretary Michael Luguje said.
The election of the Secretary General of the IMO is done by the 40 member States, who are members of the IMO’s Council.
Shiundu has over the years worked extensively in the IMO in support of Africa’s cause for maritime institutional and human capacity building.
He is credited with the successful establishment and running of IMO’s Regional Presence Programme which has resulted in the opening of three sub-regional offices of the IMO in Accra, (Ghana), Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire) and Nairobi (Kenya).
These offices have brought the IMO to the doorsteps of Africa and facilitated the deployment of IMO technical assistance to the maritime sector.
“It is therefore the considered conviction of the PAPC that this bold step taken by the Republic of Kenya to present the candidature of Shiundu would give Africa her maiden opportunity to produce a Secretary General of this very august Organization (IMO),” Luguje said.
Since the establishment of the IMO in 1958, Africa has never had an opportunity to occupy the post of Secretary General.
PAPC is now requesting the member ports to use their offices at the country level to urge their respective governments through national Maritime Authorities and sector Ministers to support the African candidate.
“Apart from the African countries on the IMO Council, PAPC member States and governments are particularly requested to leverage their good diplomatic bilateral and multilateral relations to lobby the remaining members of the IMO’s Council to support Africa’s candidate Shiundu,” Luguje said wishing Africa the best of success in the election.
PAPC believes that when elected Secretary General of the IMO, Shiundu will leverage his rich experience of the maritime industry, his high level expertise in effective programme management, and above all, his affection for the cause of Africa as a developing continent,
The position currently held by Japan’s Koji Sekimizu falls vacant effectively January 1, 2016.