IBIA Africa looks forward to new beginnings in 2021

We welcome the positive approach both regionally and globally with the introduction of regional boards, to represent the regions interests within the association

I write to you at a time when we as South Africans and many around the world, have been going through an arduous time. The Covid-19 pandemic has been challenging enough. It appears that the pandemic is literally trying to give the world a second run for our money which we can ill afford. I implore each and every one to stringently adhere to the Covid-19 safety protocols.

As the end of 2020 fast approaches, we recognise that the bunker industry in Africa (and globally) has faced challenges this year, in particular the implementation of the IMO 2020 sulphur limit and the Covid-19 pandemic. These challenges have presented the opportunity for more unified and global solutions which is encouraging. 

IBIA embraced these changes by moving as quickly as possible to virtual meetings, social distancing and for the better part of the year working with our members from home.

We have hosted IBIA Member meetings which have had a global attendance and included many of our Africa members. To date we have hosted six of these meetings covering many aspects of the effect of Covid-19 on the bunker industry and the fuel market, the ever-present question of sulphur testing, bunker licensing schemes and a general round-up of 2020. We would like to thank our members for their attendance and participation and look forward to further engaging with you all, both on a regional level and globally in the same format.

We are very pleased to see the uptake with the IBIA Online Training Programme which has been a great opportunity to brush up on your knowledge and further develop your teams. Several of our members in Africa have already completed many of the modules and feedback has been extremely positive.  We would love to hear from you regarding further topics to educate the industry further. 

Looking forward into 2021, we would like to encourage our regional members to further engage with the Africa office as we establish our first Interim IBIA Africa Regional Board. This board will comprise of five Africa members covering not only the large range of services provided in the bunkering sphere, but include representation from as many of the countries who engage in port and bunkering activities around the African continent as possible. We will be co-opting the Interim Board over the next few weeks with an announcement to be made in early 2021.

The purpose of the Regional Board is to facilitate and ensure that the interests of the Africa bunkering industry are truly represented regionally and feed into the Global Board for IBIA. Our goals and aims for the Regional office will be to increase and broaden our reach through encouraging new members, online member meetings, engaging with legislative bodies and ensuring dissemination of vital IMO information to our membership.

IBIA Africa’s aims remain aligns with the global approach:

  • To provide an international forum for bunker industry issues
  • To represent the industry in discussions and negotiations with national and international policy makers, legislators and other groups and bodies
  • To review, clarify, improve, develop and endorse where appropriate, industry methods, practices and documentation
  • To increase the professional understanding and competence of all who work in the industry
  • To provide services and facilities for members and others as the Board shall from time to time consider appropriate

Should any of the Africa Membership wish to engage further regarding the above, you are encouraged to contact me directly.

We would like to take this moment to warmly thank our Africa Membership for your support and continued dialogue in this year and wish you all a healthy and happy festive season. 

If you would like to engage with the IBIA Africa team, or become a member of IBIA, opportunities to be a speaker, sponsor or find out more about our local engagements and events, please contact me.

Tahra Sergeant
Regional Manager: Africa

This article was first published in the final 2020 edition of World Bunkering, IBIA’s official magazine.

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