Local events organiser Exhibition Management Services (EMS) expects about 4 000 delegates to attend the Maritime & Offshore Marine Africa (Moma) exhibition, which will replace the Fish & Marine Africa exhibition.
Moma will form part of the 2014 Cape Industries Showcase exhibition and will take place from July 2 to 4 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
“The exhibition has evolved over the years to meet the current realities of the maritime sector and. . . has received a new name to reflect the new focus,” says EMS MD John Thomson.
Thomson explains that many Western Cape-based companies that were originally exclusive suppliers to the fishing sector have now shifted focus to servicing other sectors, such as the offshore mining, and oil and gas industries, hence the co-locating of Moma with the Oil and Gas Africa exhibitions.
“This was also more cost effective for exhibitors and visitors, as a larger exhibition base is an attractive proposition for potential visitors.”
Thomson says that the purpose of the event is to provide a biennial platform for the changing needs of the maritime industry, which is starting to gain momentum, owing to the establishment of the Saldanha Bay industrial development zone and the activities of gas exploration and development company Sunbird Energy on South Africa’s West Coast.
Further, Thomson notes that local and international suppliers of products, technologies and services – such as Seychelles-based fishing fleet services provider Casamar, which services Spanish, French and Japanese tuna purse seine vessels operating in the Indian Ocean – will attend Moma.
Casamar stocks a range of tuna nets, twines, ropes, floats, chain, marine hardware and deck supplies; it also offers a net-repair facility.
Another international company that will attend the event is UK-based developer and supplier of local position reference sensors and vessel control systems Guidance Marine.
The company supplies vessel control systems, such as Dynamic Positioning, which uses laser and radar CyScan, RadaScan and Mini RadaScan sensors to enable vessels to hold their position and operate safely in close proximity to installations.
“We have also received exhibitor stand bookings from companies. . . including the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Seychelles, China, the UK and the US,” Thomson points out, adding that the list of countries sending exhibiting delegations is continuously growing.
“There will also be concurrent conferences, workshops and seminars held during Moma. These are all currently under development and topics will be announced shortly.”
Moreover, he notes that the event is endorsed by the African Shipowners Association (Asoa), which will use its presence to promote the association’s African maritime development agenda.
Formed in 2011 as a private-sector initiative to carry out the objectives of the African Maritime Transport Charter, Asoa is represented in 30 African countries.
Thomson adds that Asoa members will also interact with the exhibiting supply companies.
Asoa executive coordinator Olufunmilayo Folorunso says Moma will provide the association with an opportunity to showcase itself to potential new members and to engage with other stakeholders in the maritime industry.
More African Shipowners Needed
“African ownership of shipping is a key strategic objective and we are committed to establishing national and regional shipping lines,” says Folorunso.
However, she adds that African ownership of vessels is minimal and that South Africa has no private industry shipowners.
Folorunso believes the lack of South African-owned trading vessels makes the economy “extremely vulnerable”, with about 12 000 foreign vessels carrying 96% of South Africa’s exports every year.
“Cargo throughput at Nigeria’s seaports is fast approaching 100-million tons a year,” says Folorunso, who adds that a significant proportion of that tonnage should be transported by African-owned vessels.
Further, Thomson points out that Africa comprises about 40 000 km of coastline that includes 32 countries, and intra-Africa trade is benefititng those countries with viable sea ports.
“The amount of cargo being moved through Africa’s ports has tripled over the past ten years. There is huge potential for a large fleet of African-owned vessels boosting African trade with the rest of the world, and Moma is the logical launch pad for this ongoing African maritime expansion,” he concludes.