WSOA Debuts, Appoints Kalu, Others Interim Management Team

Following the adoption of agreement reached at the International Maritime Round Table (IMRT) in Washington DC, United States of America (USA), an umbrella body for all national, regional and international associations of ship owners has commenced operations.

Named World Ship Owners Association (WSOA), IMRT had in attendance owners of container ships, bulk carriers, tankers, fishing vessels, barges, specialized ships and ferries from 29 countries including USA, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Russia, Nigeria, Denmark, Norway, among others.

A statement signed by WSOA’s interim Director of Strategy and Communications, Isaac Marshall, explained that stakeholders in advocating regional and international co-operation, noted that the association would primarily serve as the universal representative of the shipping industry worldwide.

The structure of WSOA consists of an interim management team led by Nigerian Forbes billionaire and renowned shipping magnate, Orji Kalu (President) and supported by Romanian Forbes billionaire Gabriel Popoviciu (Treasurer), Isaac Marshall (Director, Strategy and Communications), Mr. Thomas Cheng (Head of Government and Regulatory Affairs), Al-Fayed Hassan (Head of Membership and Partnerships), Tiffany Richmond (Head of Administration and Legal), all serving in acting capacities. The team’s mandate is to effectively drive membership and engagement of existing maritime associations across the world towards the inauguration of national and regional secretariats across the globe and advocacy visits to the United Nations agencies, African Export-Import Bank, Export- Import Bank of the United States among others.

The statement said: “Today, we are excited to announce the birth of the much-awaited international co-operation among players in the maritime industry. The World Ship Owners Association (WSOA) is now a reality with a resolve to sustain the interests of ship owners in order to serve the global economy in an atmosphere of healthy business competition to the advantage of consumers and stakeholders.

“The new body was conceptualized and established by ship owners and players in the marine business as not just an international trade group but also as a partner to maritime bodies including the International Maritime Organization to build a sustainable marine platform for the advancement of the global economy.