Mauritius hosts the annual seminar of OVPOI
The seminar of the Indian Ocean Observatory of Cities and Ports(1) (OVPOI), organised in collaboration with the Municipality of Port Louis and the Mauritius Port Authority – both members of AIVP and of the Observatory – was held on 12 and 13 April in Mauritius. A success for this second edition which brought together not less than 100 participants, mainly coming from the network of members (South Africa, Kenya, Madagascar, Reunion, Mayotte, Comoros, Mozambique, Seychelles and Mauritius) and from certain regional organisations and associations of the Indian Ocean zone : the Union of Chambers of Commerce of the Indian Ocean, the Indian Ocean Commission and the Association of Ports and Islands of the Indian Ocean.
To start this seminar, the General Assembly firstly noted the state of the significant and encouraging enlargement of the network of members of OVPOI, going from four to fifteen members representing nine countries between 2010 and 2011. Already a partner of the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa, OVPOI are also in contact with other regional organisations with a view to formalising new partnership agreements with the Indian Ocean Commission, and the Indian Ocean Rim Association for a Regional Cooperation, two organisations in which OVPOI would have the status of observer member. From these various actions of integration and promotion, and by the studies which have already been executed in 2010 and 2011, OVPOI is becoming more and more visible and recognised in the regional scene. The justification of OVPOI as a driving force for partnership between the ports of the Southern Indian Ocean was recently underlined in the Southern Indian Ocean Blue Book (http://18.104.22.168/livrebleu)
The seminar which followed provided the occasion to present the results of two studies accomplished by the Observatory : one concerning the potentialities of receiving cruise liners in the South Western Indian Ocean, and the other on environmental practices. These studies provide a comparative analysis built on seven port communities : Mutsamudu (Comoros), Mombasa (Kenya), Victoria (Seychelles), Port Louis (Mauritius), Tamatave/Toamasina (Madagascar), Le Port (Reunion), and Durban (South Africa). Submitted to the expertise and various regards of the members of the network : cities, ports, and professionals, these studies will be the subject of operational outlines in the form of work guides. All this work will very soon be made available on the OVPOI website (www.indianocean-aivp.org/)
Finally these two days provided the opportunity for an official meeting between the City of Durban, the delegation from which was led by Mr. James Nxumalo, Mayor of Durban, and AIVP represented by its Chairman Jean-Pierre Lecomte and Corinne Monnet, the chargé for promotion and international relations. This meeting enabled the modalities of the organisation of the 14thWorld Conference of AVP in 2014 to be gone into more thoroughly and discussed. The City of Durban is a candidate to host this conference as are the port city of Genoa (Italy) and the Moroccan port authorities. These three dossiers are indeed currently being studied.
(1) Observatoire Villes Ports Ocean Indien (OVPOI) : founded 15 October 2009 under the aegis of AIVP, OVPOI, the head office of which is situated in the City of Le Port (Reunion Island) brings together the members of AIVP of the oceanic basin of the Indian Ocean. The Observatory has the principal objective of enabling the consolidation on a regional scale of a local strategy for the development projects of the port cities and the ports. Besides the structuring of discussions and sharing of knowledge, the Observatory wishes to contribute towards the formalisation of a regional identity.