CLOSING REMARKS BY MRS. ESTHER KOIMETT, THE PRINCIPAL SECRETARY, STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT, MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT, INFRASTRUCTURE, URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS DURING THE CLOSING CEREMONY OF THE 26TH INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MARITIME ECONOMISTS (IAME) CONFERENCE AT PRIDEINN HOTEL, MOMBASA ON 14TH SEPTEMBER 2018
- UNCTAD Secretary General Dr Mukhisa Kituyi,
- IAME President Dr. Jan Hoffman,
- KPA Acting Managing Director Dr. Arch. Daniel Manduku,
- PMAESA Acting Secretary General Col. Andre Ciseau,
- KMA Acting Director General Mr George Macgoye,
- Vice Chancellors present,
- Distinguished delegates, participants,
- Members of the fourth estate,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have come to the end of our three days rigorous deliberations on international maritime economics.
Three days that may have just set the course for a very fruitful journey ahead.
Indeed, I must say the discourse around the conference has offered great insights and opportunity for all of us to learn from one another. A range of topics focusing on general challenges in maritime economies, Port developments, security and safety, maritime policies, governance, port efficiency, technology, research collaboration, among others, have been ably discussed. Perhaps not exhaustively but a viable seed has been planted.
I am convinced that the gains made in this forum will play a critical role in deepening the policies that different countries are formulating. I must hasten, to add that the theme of the conference and the outcomes are suitable and very apt for emerging nations such as ours.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As the host nation, we once again reiterate our utmost appreciation to the organizers for giving our Port city of Mombasa and indeed Africa an opportunity to host the conference for the first time. We note with satisfaction about 180 research papers on maritime, shipping and ports issues were presented during the 3-day event with a representation from over 40 countries.
This Conference came at a time when Kenya has focused on the exploitation of the blue economy to reap its benefits for economic growth and achievement of the government's "Big Four Economic Development Agenda" notably:
- Enhancing Manufacturing sector.
- Food Security and Nutrition, commitment.
- Universal Health Coverage and
- Affordable Housing.
In order to achieve a strong and sustainable economic growth, the country is diversifying its sources of growth by focusing on major blue economy activities. Admittedly, the full potential of our marine economy has not been exploited especially when it is posited that the country has over 23,000 square kilometres of maritime resources and a distance of 200 nautical miles of shore. The area covered can easily constitute to over 30 of the 47 counties in Kenya; a demonstrable proof of the potential that emerging countries hold.
Indeed, the country is alive to the potential and the need for proven practises and policy guidance. As a show of our commitment, taking the discourse further, in 10 weeks' time, the Government of Kenya will host another high-level conference on sustainable blue economy.
It is fulfilling to note that the scholars, practitioners, and maritime industry players in this room are from across the globe. This combination has not only been built and created maritime research capacity in the country but has also boosted the tourism sector in the short period. Equally, our maritime knowledge bank has immensely benefited from the intellectual speakers who among others included our own homegrown, Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, the current Secretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
On that note, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to express my appreciation to the various government agencies for their cooperation before and during the conference. We are equally grateful to the Embassy of Belgium, IAME Executive management, Kenya Ports Authority, all the universities that participated in these arrangements, speakers and panel members for their role in making this conference successful.
As I conclude, I would like to reiterate that Kenya will be hosting another major conference, the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference hence I urge everyone of us to mark our calendars and purpose to attend the event on the 26th to 28th November 2018.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
With these few remarks, I thank you again for attending the conference and wish you safe travel back home.
Thank you. Asanteni Sana!