Africa maritime cooperation centre launched
Africa has launched its maritime technology cooperation centre as part of an ambitious IMO-EU project to establish a global network of centres to further global efforts in addressing climate change.
IMO says the centres will act as regional focal points for a wide range of activities including improving compliance with existing and future international energy-efficiency regulations; promoting uptake of low-carbon technologies and operations in maritime transport, and establishing voluntary pilot data-collection and reporting systems to feed back into the global regulatory process. In doing so, they will play their part in supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The African Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC-Africa) follows launches of centres in Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific regions earlier this year, with the Latin America MTCC expected to launch early 2018. Together they are forming a network under the GMN project funded by the European Union (EU) and run by IMO.
Speaking at the launch event in Mombasa, Kenya (13 December) IMO Director of the Marine Environment Division, Stefan Micallef, praised the launch of MTCC-Africa and the importance of its mission to promote low-carbon shipping. “Global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping rely heavily on improvements in energy efficiency and increased uptake of low-carbon technologies. Better energy efficiency means less fuel is used, and that means lower emissions. This is also good for the shipowner, because less fuel means less operational costs”, he said.
The EU was represented at the launch by Bruno Pozzi, the Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Kenya, who also raised the importance of the centre, saying that "the launch of Africa's Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre comes at a time when global action against climate change is needed more than ever before”.
Nancy Karigithu, principal secretary of Kenya Maritime and Shipping Affairs, said the centre would enhance capacity for the African region in promoting ship energy efficiency technologies and operations. She said this would be key to reduction of harmful emissions from ships with the aim of mitigating harmful effects of climate change.
MTCC-Africa will be hosted at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.