Ruto affirms Kenya, AU's endorsement of Amb Nancy Karigithu for IMO Sec-Gen position

State Department for Shipping and Maritime PS Amb. Nancy Karigithu. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

President William Ruto has affirmed Kenya’s nomination of Ambassador Nancy Karigithu to the position of Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

Karigithu is in the race to head IMO with six other candidates, according to the UN agency.

Her candidature has also been endorsed by the African Union.

“In nominating Amb Karigithu, Kenya and the AU are presenting to the global maritime community a highly competent and qualified candidate, who has immensely contributed to global maritime issues,” said Ruto in a statement.

Karigithu, currently an advisor and special envoy for maritime and blue economy brings expertise on global maritime issues, having worked in the maritime sector over three decades.

“I wish to underscore that Amb. Karigithu has all it takes to handle the challenges facing the shipping industry, starting with the adoption of cleaner energy for sustainable shipping, tackling decarbonisation through control and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, marine environmental protection, and ensuring fairness to all IMO Member States,” the Head of State noted.

She is seeking to replace outgoing Secretary-General Kitack Lim of South Korea, whose term ends in July 2023. Lim has been Sec-Gen since 2016. 

Should she be elected, the ambassador will be the first female Secretary General of the organisation.

“In nominating her, we appreciate that no African and no woman has ever held the position of Secretary-General of IMO in the 70 years of the organisation’s existence.”

Others in the race for the top position include Suat Hayri Aka (Turkey), Minna Kivimäki (Finland), Moin Uddin Ahmed (Bangladesh), Arsenio Antonio Dominguez (Panama), Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry (Dominica), and Zhang Xiaojie (China).