Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
IMO officials visited Alexandria, Egypt from 10 to 14 February to commence liaising on plans to open an IMO Regional Presence Office (RPO) there for the Middle East and North Africa. The office will be situated within the premises of the Egyptian Authority for Maritime Safety (EAMS) in the port of Alexandria.
The decision to boost IMO’s presence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with the establishment of an RPO was made by the IMO Technical Cooperation Committee at its 72nd session in October 2022. This was subsequently endorsed in December 2022 by the IMO Council at its 128th session.
Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme
The RPO will enhance the implementation of the Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP) for the Arab States in the MENA region, taking into consideration the mandates of existing regional entities in the Mediterranean (REMPEC), Red Sea (PERSGA) and ROPME (MEMAC) Sea areas.
Facilities inspected during the mission include the building which will house the RPO, office space and support equipment. The IMO delegation was joined by two officials from the United Nations Department for Safety and Security to ensure the building and location meet their requirements.
Present at the meetings were Rear Admiral Hussein Moustafa el Geziry, Chairman, Egyptian Authority for Maritime Safety, Rear Admiral Reda Ismail, Head of the Transport Sector, Egypt along with other senior officials of the maritime administration. The IMO delegation included William Azuh, Deputy Director, Subdivision for Maritime Development, Technical Cooperation Division and Amr Hussein, Programme Officer.
Details of the Memorandum of Understanding relating to the responsibilities of Egypt and IMO are being finalized for signature so that the MENA RPO can start work as soon as possible.
IMO’s regional expansion
The Alexandria office expands IMO’s network of regional presence offices1: Côte d’Ivoire (Francophone) and Ghana (Anglophone) for west and central Africa, Kenya for eastern and southern Africa, the Philippines for East Asia, and Trinidad and Tobago for the Caribbean region. Currently IMO also funds one Technical Cooperation Officer within the Pacific Community. That is due to be formalized this year with a new RPO becoming operational in Fiji.
Illustration per www.imo.org
IMO / SDGS ©.
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