Introducing IBIA in Africa
The IBIA in Africa office opened in 2013, as a direct response to growth in the region, much of which is being driven by the oil and gas industry.
Just two years later, IBIA’s membership in Africa stands at 130 companies/individuals located across the entire region. They include bunker suppliers, traders and brokers, storage companies, surveyors, port authorities, lawyers, equipment manufacturers, shipping journalists and marine consultants.
In 2015, IBIA in Africa welcomed many new members following the Regional Forum run in Mauritius. This year, IBIA in Africa will be organising industry training in Ghana and holding its Forum in Cape Town and both events are already attracting significant interest from existing and potential new members.
Africa’s coastline, which is 26 000 kilometres in length has more than 100 ports, of which just over 50 have the capacity to handle cargo and containers. Africa is focused on developing an efficient and globally-competitive port infrastructure and the implementation of a strategic plan to develop a sustainable economy has become critical, in order to channel the big business of the oceans into more African economies and hands.
With more than 90% of Africa’s exports and imports carried by sea, the volume of global sea trade has quadrupled over the last forty years. African-owned ships currently make up only 1.2% of world shipping by number, while African ports currently handle approximately 6% of the world’s sea-faring cargo traffic, of which about 3% is global container traffic.
Tahra Sergeant, IBIA’s Regional Manager, joined IBIA in 2013, with more than 15 years of corporate marketing and advertising experience. She brings a fresh approach, with the skill set and tenacity to open doors and elevate the IBIA Africa brand to new levels.
A valued member of the team, Tahra and the IBIA Africa Executive Committee work closely with the IBIA Secretariat and the IBIA regional team in Singapore, sharing and drawing on their combined global expertise. Tahra covers events, marketing and media liaison, works to support the Executive Committee and is of course, the IBIA first point of contact for members across the Africa region.