WMU President Addresses 70th Session of IMO Technical Cooperation Committee

On 9 December, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of the World Maritime University (WMU), addressed the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Technical Cooperation Committee (TCC) to report on the activities of the University. The 70th session of TCC (TC 70) was held from 7 to 11 December. 

In her remarks, President Doumbia-Henry highlighted that WMU is continuing with its education and capacity building mission despite the COVID-19 pandemic. She noted that classes were moved online as of March 2020 and that to date there are no reported cases of COVID-19 among the students. This year, 226 professionals from 79 countries graduated from WMU. There are now 5,392 WMU graduates from 170 countries and territories, of which 1,181 are women.

President Doumbia-Henry reported that in July, the Central Evaluation and Accreditation Agency, (ZEvA) located in Germany, provided unconditional re-accreditation for six years  of WMU’s degrees. Reporting on cooperation with IMO, President Doumbia-Henry conveyed that WMU is making good progress to support IMO in e-learning projects for the IMO member State Audit Scheme and for the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation. In addition, the University has continued to support National Maritime Transport Policy (NMTP) training in 2020 with virtual training delivered to officials in Timor-Leste and students at WMU’s sister institute, the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI).

President Doumbia-Henry expressed her appreciation to the University’s donors and partners for their continued and unwavering support during the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular the Government of Sweden and the City of Malmö, The Nippon Foundation and the Government of Japan, the Republic of Korea, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), and the Governments of Canada, China, Germany, Malaysia, Thailand, Cyprus and Turkey.

Special thanks were also extended by President Doumbia-Henry to sponsors who provided fellowships in 2020: The Nippon Foundation and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, the IMO Global Capacity-Building Programme, Norway – Norad, African Development Bank, European Commission and EMSA, Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Bahamas Maritime Authority, Canada, China, Ghana Ports and harbours Authority, Germany, Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, the Orients Fond, Peru, Philippines Coast Guard, Philippine Merchant Marine Academy, Port of Gwangyang and Yeosu of the Republic of Korea, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, South Africa, Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management, GARD, Stena Rederi AB, Wallenius Marine AB, ITF Seafarers’ Trust, Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific, TK Foundation and the British Columbia Institute of Technology of Canada.

President Doumbia-Henry stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that the work of WMU will be even more important and needed more than ever before as developing countries rebuild after the pandemic. Each year, WMU academically clears 300 applicants for the Master’s programme in Malmö, yet only a third of those applicants receive fellowship awards to make their studies possible. With the majority of WMU students coming from developing countries, fellowship support is absolutely crucial to support global capacity building. 

President Doumbia-Henry appealed to all TCC members to consider financial support to WMU, whether that means expanding existing contributions or making an initial contribution. Such contributions will not only strengthen the University’s financial sustainability and development but will also ensure that developing countries which are severely affected by COVID-19 can rebuild as quickly as possible with the skills WMU graduates acquire.

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