The European Union is funding a € 1.2 million grant contract,
signed between IMO and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of
States (ACP) to support training and capacity-building activities aimed
at enhancing flag State implementation and port State control in Western
and Central Africa, with a view to upgrading the region’s maritime
administrations and preparing its States for the mandatory IMO audit
IMO will be executing the two-year programme, identifying the individual
countries’ needs in terms of enhancing their capacity to carry out
their flag State responsibilities. There will also be a focus on port
State control, such as training for ship inspectors, in order to support
the functioning of the Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control
for West and Central African Region (Abuja MoU), which is an
inter-governmental organization comprising the maritime administrations
of countries abutting the Atlantic coast of Africa.
It is anticipated that the project will lead to the maritime
Administrations being audited in accordance with the IMO Audit Scheme,
which is expected to become mandatory in 2016 following the adoption and
entry into force of amendments to the relevant IMO instruments. The
focus of the capacity-building activities will be on compliance with the
IMO Instruments Implementation Code (III Code), which provides the
global standard to enable States to meet their obligations as flag, port
and coastal States.
It is also expected that the projects will result in enhancing the
effectiveness of the Abuja MoU on port State control.
The overall support programme for the maritime transport sector is
intended to contribute towards Africa’s economic growth, connectivity
and the promotion of regional integration, and will seek to complement
other maritime transport programmes on the continent. Although it has a
strong focus on Western and Central Africa, it may also be extended to
other ACP regions..
The contract was signed on 10 March by IMO, the ACP Secretariat and the
European Commission, with a start date for implementation on 15 March
2014. It reflects the joint EU-Africa Strategic Partnership  adopted
in Lisbon in December 2007, which calls for capacity-building in the
fields of safety standards and regulations.
It is also in line with the African Union’s Maritime Charter and the
2050 Africa's Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIM-Strategy ) that
was developed with the collaboration of IMO and formally adopted by the
22nd African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government on 31
January 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
IMO – the International Maritime Organization – is the United
Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and
security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.