Sierra Leone’s Minister of Transport and Aviation, Alhaji Fanday Turay is currently participating in the 33rd Session of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) at its global headquarters in Albert Embankment, London.
As a specialised Agency of the United Nations, the IMO plays a crucial role in enhancing the safety, security, and environmental standards of international shipping.
Sierra Leone, like other nations, seeks to capitalise on the opportunity presented by this umbrella maritime organisation to explore technical training initiatives and leverage global networking prospects to reinforce bilateral and multilateral relations.
The nation works in collaboration with other players to drive progress in its maritime industry through capacity building, infrastructural development and quality enhancement.
The biennial meeting serves as a strategic planning platform, encompassing budgetary allocations and different facets of considerations for the next two years. Signatories convene to present and discuss reports on IMO activities and programs, seeking ratification, domestication, and implementation.
The current session, concluding on 6th December, 2023, commenced with the election of top officers (by Heads of Delegations), including the president and two vice presidents, subsequently ratified by the IMO plenary session.
His Royal Highness, Prince Khalid bin Bandar Al Saud, the Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom, assumed the role of president.
Minister Fanday Turay actively engaged in bilateral meetings with key IMO stakeholders. Notably, he met with the Saudi Arabian Deputy Minister of Transport and Logistics Services, Dr. Rumah Al-Rumaih, extensively discussing the broad subject of enhancing transportation in different areas of requirements.
Dr. Al-Rumaih is also the president of the Public Transport Authority which oversees land, railway, and maritime transport in Saudi Arabia. He was accompanied by other Saudi officers. At the end of the discussion Minister Fanday Turay was invited to visit Saudi for further discussions on the subject.
Minister Fanday Turay also had a bilateral meeting with the Qatari Minister of Transport, HE Jassim Saif Al Sulaiti, who invited the minister to visit Qatar for further talks on the transport sector including prospects for maritime training and aviation requirements.
The meeting with the Qatari minister was followed by another bilateral with the Moroccan Minister of Transport and Logistics, Mohamed Abdeljalil, exploring collaboration in various transport sectors including land, air and sea. Both men agreed to develop an MOU that would spell out details for a potential agreement.
Additionally, Minister Turay met with Cyprus Deputy Minister of Shipping, Ms. Marina Hatzimanolis and the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus to the UK, Mr. Andreas Kakouris, to explore potential collaboration in the marine sector, including professional training for Sierra Leoneans in institutions inside Cyprus.
Speaking to AYV, Minister Fanday expressed strong determination to leverage Sierra Leone’s natural potential as a major maritime hub in the West African sub region, and to establish vital connections that would be of tangible benefit to the nation.
He also emphasised the need for a rigorous pursuit of national interests and priorities in working towards the full realisation of President Bio’s Human Capital Development goals.