The Global Shippers' Forum is pleased to announce that Mr Serigne Thiam Diop, Secretary General of the Union of African Shippers' Councils, has been elected to join the Board of the Global Shippers' Forum.
The appointment reflects the growing influence of the African continent in world trade and the desire for African shippers to play a leading role in establishing a strong global shippers' organisation to represent African interests at an international level.
Echoing comments made by Senator Idris Umar, the Nigerian Minister of Transport at the recent GSF Annual Meeting in London, Mr Diop said:
"The need for a strong voice for African shippers at an international level has never been greater. I am therefore delighted that the UASC can play a pivotal part in developing a strong global shippers' organisation not only for African shippers but for shippers all over the world".
He added "the GSF is steadily building its influence with the main international inter-governmental trade and transport organisations and has, for example, made important contributions and modifications to proposed new rules on the verification of container weights and in revising the guidelines for the safe stowage and securing of transport units".
"Transport safety is a huge issue in Africa. The UASC will actively promote and support the GSF maritime safety campaign throughout Africa in a determined effort to drive up standards and safe logistics practices".
GSF Secretary General, Chris Welsh, said "Mr Diop's impressive 30 plus year record of shipper advocacy brings important knowledge and skill sets to the GSF Board. His wide experience in developing shippers' organisations in Africa and working with governments and international organisations will be a key asset for the GSF at a time when GSF is focused on building its relationships and extending its influence with the key UN international trade and transport organisations that make the rules affecting shippers throughout the world".
A former Director of the Senegal Shippers' Council, Mr Diop was appointed Secretary General of the Union of African Shippers' Councils in 2009. He has played a leading role in reforming shippers' councils in Africa to support and facilitate the development of African trade through such organisations as the African Union and, UNCTAD.
He was Rapporteur for the African group on negotiations on the United Nations Convention on the international carriage of goods by sea (Rotterdam Rules) from 2004 to 2008. Prior to that Mr Diop participated as an expert in the revision of the UNCTAD liner code of conduct and in the various Cotonou round table inter-governmental discussions on maritime transport during the 1990s.