This Is The Maritime Hour For Africa

(November 21, 2009)The Commissioner of the Bureau of Maritime Affairs and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Regional Maritime University (RMU) Hon. Binyah C. Kesselly has expressed his delight with the determination of the RMU management to seek meaningful collaboration with both academic institutions and the greater maritime industry- a collaboration which has seen an increasing number of students enter various careers, and scholarships provided to the staff to further their teaching skills. Speaking at the 3rd Graduation ceremony in Accra, Ghana on November 21, 2009, the RMU Board of Governors Chair noted that during the past two years the RMU became a full-fledged University, and has come closer to realizing the vision and ideals of it predecessors, who first established it as a small Nautical College about four decades ago.

The Commissioner emphasized on the progress made in the past by the Maritime University in reducing the time for the conferment of degrees to deserving students. He further stressed that today marks the finality of a moment in time, of truth and reckoning for the graduates, one that marks the culmination of years of discipline, hard-work, focus, and mental fortitude which the students could finally consider as a tough and grueling period that should be accepted as the beginning. He then congratulated the graduates on behalf of his fellow Board members, on their achievement, and encouraged them to continue to strive for excellence while considering the commencement as part of their life’s career, which he said they will come to appreciate. He said he was also pleased because based on industry feedback, the quality, training and discipline of the graduates consistently rank high in Africa and the world at large. He observed that the awarding of certificates and degrees to this very deserving batch of 195 graduates, an increase compared to that of the 2nd Commencement program of 156 graduates is indicative of the progress that has been made and is cause for celebration. These collaborations are crucial to enrich the quality of our educational and training programs, enhance the reputation of our University, and rebrand the image of Africa’s maritime industry.

Speaking further, He said “this is Africa’s time to shine. Industry experts and analysts say this is the Maritime Hour for Africa, that is why the effects of our efforts in ensuring that the right people are trained (i.e. our best and brightest) to help feed the maritime market, will slowly spread across the world until every major maritime nexus would have had an experience of the RMU’s products-Africa’s shining maritime ambassadors.” Meanwhile, Chairman Kesselly has once more spoken on the issue of piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Aden, Piracy and Armed Banditry in the Niger Delta, and Armed insurgency in the Gulf of Guinea and the Bight of Benin. He said as gloomy as these events may seem, as hopeless a cause as this may present, there is light at the end of the tunnel. He then reflected on the quotation of Einstein that “In the midst of chaos lies opportunity”.

The industry is now forecasting a shortage of greater than 80, 000 seafarers by the year 2012 and with the continuous challenges posed by piracy and armed insurgency, there is now, more than ever, the need for trained Maritime Security experts. Similarly, with the rise of petroleum products being discovered all along Africa’s coasts, and in other parts of the world, more opportunities exist for employment in our industry. In these areas, and in so many others, those whom we send out into the world from our beloved RMU, can and shall fill these coveted and very rewarding slots, concluded the Board of Governors Chair.

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