KPA to host Africa’s Maiden International Maritime Conference

The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) will host the 26th International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME) Conference to be held in Kenya and in Africa for the first time in 2018.

The IAME President, Dr. Jan Hoffman made the announcement on Wednesday during the official opening of the 25th IAME conference at a hotel in Kyoto, Japan. The theme of this year’s conference is Maritime Transport Quality in the Evolving World Trade.

Next year IAME will hold its annual conference in Mombasa � the first time we meet on the African continent and another reflection of the truly global nature of maritime transport and our association, said Dr. Hoffmann in a statement dispatched from Japan to local newsrooms in Mombasa.

To show the commitment, KPA’s Head of Corporate Development, Martin Mutuku was co-opted as an IAME council member at the council meeting where the progress of next year’s conference was very positively evaluated.

On Friday, Mutuku will receive the association’s flag on behalf of the KPA Managing Director, Catherine Wairia, as the main sponsor of the 26th event.

During the Mombasa conference, KPA is expected to offer logistical and administrative support, leading the marketing and communication efforts and assist in securing participation of major institutional parties.

The Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) and the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA) have also pledged their support for the proposed event.

Prof. Michael Dooms of the University of Brussels in Belgium is the lead scientific organizer alongside a group of respected university scholars from Kenyan universities.

Hoffmann said IAME was honoured and happy to hold its annual conference in Kyoto on its 25th anniversary.

Our association celebrates twenty-five years of service to a community of researchers and practitioners in port and shipping economics. With two associated maritime journals, numerous networking tools, and our annual global conference, IAME has shown to be the premier association for those of us who are passionate about research and teaching in maritime economics, he added.

Speaking during the meeting, Masaharu Shinohara, Executive Officer, Kobe �Osaka International Port Corporation who is also the Vice President International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) said the conference was expected to contribute to the better understanding and analysis of the global maritime industry.

As a member of the local organizing committee and one of the major sponsors as well as representing local maritime industry, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all the guests and participants in the IAME Conference 2017, he said.

He added, You might wonder why we have chosen Kyoto as a maritime conference venue. In fact until 150 years ago, Kyoto was connected to the sea port of Osaka via river transport network, said Mr. Shinohara.

Addressing the delegates, the Conference Chairperson, Dr. Masato Shinohara observed that Japan had a large maritime cluster but the practitioners in the industry were not outspoken enough which results in the lack of information about it.

We have therefore made effort to invite as many practitioners as possible to the conference so that researchers can ask questions and exchange views with those who are at the front of maritime innovation, he said.

The hundreds of delegates attending the conference had a commemorative session in memory of the late Prof. Richard Goss and the late Prof. Ross Robinson, two great IAME contributors and scholars who passed on in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

On Friday the delegates will have the opportunity to tour the Port of Kobe and Osaka.

The Port is a unique example of privatization strategy combining two ports for management by creating a new private company, while the ownership of the ports remaining in the hands of each municipality, said Prof. Masato Shinohara.

Between the opening and closing ceremony more than 150 original research papers will be presented in parallel sessions dealing with the major challenges of ports, shipping and maritime logistics.

Source: Kenya News Agency