Statement by the Hon. Leonard Balogun Koroma Minister of Transport and Aviation
Republic of Sierra Leone On The Occasion of the 13th Regional Maritime
University Board of Governors Meeting Held in Yaounde Cameroon on Friday
December 13th 2013 .
Our Chief Host , The
Hon. Minister of Transport of the Republic of Cameroon and delegation
Hon. Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure of The Gambia and Outgoing
Chairman and delegation
Members of the Maritime University Board of Governors
Members of the Maritime University Administrative Staff
Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps
Esteemed Members of the Media
The Rector and Staff of the Regional Maritime University
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
Other protocols duly observed .
THE HIGH TABLE : HON. LOGUS KOROMA IS FAR RIGHT
On behalf of His Excellency the President if the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr.
Ernest Bai Koroma; the Sierra Leone delegation; and myself , I would like to
express sincere thanks and appreciation to the Government and people of Cameroon
for the warm hospitality we have enjoyed since our arrival in the beautiful city
of Yaounde .
HON. LOGUS KOROMA TAKES OVER THE MANTLE
This hospitality, however, does not come as a surprise because your reputation
of being a warm and hospitable people precedes you .
I would also like to take a special moment to extend fraternal greetings to His
Excellency President Paul Biya from President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma .
To outgoing Chairman Hon. Bala Garba Jahumpa , Minister of Transport, Works and
Infrastructure of the Republic of The Gambia , thank you for your effective and
diligent leadership of the Regional Maritime University Board of Governors for
the last 2 years . As I take over from you, I look forward to continuing the
trend of successful global maritime education in our region so well carved out
by you .
THE MANTLE IS HANDED OVER TO HON. LOGUS KOROMA
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, while the Republic of Sierra Leone is
extremely proud of it’s affiliation with the Regional Maritime University , it
is especially gratifying and humbling for me to represent my country in the
coveted capacity of Chairman of the Regional Maritime University Board of
Governors , particularly in light of the fact that as Sierra Leone’s Minster for
Transport and Aviation, Maritime Administration falls under my area of
HON. LOGUS KOROMA MAKES HIS ACCEPTANCE SPEECH
Today, the Regional Maritime University is a beacon of maritime studies and
development . This clearly is evident by the fact that the University is
increasingly attracting students from outside of our sub region .
In light of this new found success, we must now focus on expanding the
University’s curriculum to better prepare its graduates to effectively tackle
the maritime – related challenges of their respective countries . Challenges
such as piracy and the increasing number of sea vessels in our waters must be
studied carefully and methodically in an effort to help ensure successful
implementation of solutions to meet changing times and demands .
What better setting is there than the Maritime University for such studies to
commence ; to be nurtured ; and to be put into theoretical practice , not
forgetting that our Nationals must not be left behind in making use of the vast
staffing and other opportunities in International Maritime Organizations.
Indeed, it is the University’s responsibility to provide positive challenges for
its students to meet modern times – challenges which will prepare them to
effectively address , among other progressions, recent developments in the
maritime sector that borders on agreements and obligations with the
International Maritime Organization .
GROUP PICTURE : THE MEMBERS OF THE VARIOUS DELEGATIONS
This meeting is of particular relevance since it is coming almost 3 weeks after
the very successful International Maritime Organization Conference in London,
which I attended, and which discussed several issues of relevance and guidance
to our deliberations .
Ladies and Gentlemen, let us not forget that approximately 90% of the world’s
trade is done via shipping . This significant number is sure to grow as world
trade grows , especially in light of increased oil and mineral exploration , the
possibility of commercial oil drilling and increased infrastructural and
agricultural development in our sub region .
Clearly such an impressive percentage of shipping in global world trade mandates
the Maritime University to be at the forefront of the monumental task of better
preparing our students to become the next generation of global community leaders
in the maritime sector .
We will only accomplish this goal through increased focus on areas of studies
that are being emphasized worldwide , such as maritime pollution, marine
environmental protection among others .
Our students must learn how global climate changes – such as global warming –
can affect sea levels and the levels of other waterways that are utilized by
marine vehicles , and for which high levels of safety are required .
Our students must learn how to successfully utilize the Search and Rescue
facilities in our respective nations in an effort to ensure proper , safe and
efficient use of all that the facilities have to offer .
For the Maritime University to grow and provide quality education, we the member
nations of the University must take seriously our financial obligations and make
every possible efforts to meet those obligations . Meeting our financial
obligations to the University will help to ensure the overall success of not
only this great learning institution , but most importantly its faculty, staff,
and of course, its students .
Distinguished members of the audience, as I come to the conclusion of my
remarks, I would like to thank you for granting me such a prestigious audience
for the delivery of my first official speech as Chairman of the Regional
Maritime University Board f Governors .
And to my fellow Board members, I give you my word that , to the fullest extent
of my capabilities, you have my attention and my support.
As your new Chairman, I begin my tenure with complete faith and confidence in
each and every one of you .
My fellow Board members , members of the Administrative staff, I believe that
with hard work, dedication and teamwork we can make the name of the Regional
Maritime University as renowned as any other first – class University worldwide
; we can make the University’s curriculum more relevant to changing times and
circumstances ; and we can turn out students who are relevant to today’s
maritime world .
I thank you all