Two giants of West Africa, Ghana and Nigeria, on Friday, narrowly, lost to Kenya, South Africa and Egypt on the council membership of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), at its 28th General Assembly, in Vauxhall, the UK.
The other highly tipped nation which lost to Kenya was Jamaica which had 85. At an election to determine who moved out of the IMO council and who made it Kenya scored 86 votes to dislodge Ghana, which scored 85.
Nigeria, which has also, been highly tipped, could not make it, as it also garnered 85 votes. Whilst Nigeria, a giant in every respect, in West African, had hopes to seek for a membership of the council, Ghana was seeking re-election, having won its last council membership, with 71 votes in 2003.
Poland, Venezuela, Honduras, Iran, and Pakistan, also lost the elections. In spite of Ghana's loss, many delegates, interviewed by the media said, they were impressed by Ghana's performance. This is because, although Ghana faced a similar competition in 2003, when it was vying for election to the IMO Council membership category “C”, there was no such keen interest shown by great maritime nations, like Cyprus, Turkey, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, South Africa and Indonesia, as they had done this time around.
Even so, according to the delegates, if countries like Columbia and Zimbabwe, which had promised to give their votes to Ghana, had delivered on their promise, Ghana would still have won the council seat, by securing either 86, or 87 votes. They described Ghana's performance as par excellence, in that, when it won a position on the council in 2003 it did so with much lesser votes (71) out of the 167 member-states of IMO.
Asked how it was possible for a state like Kenya to upstage Ghana, despite the country's (Ghana's) impressive offer – including the doling out of a made-in-Ghana cocoa chocolate, a delegate told Daily Guide, she believed it's the pledge of the Kenya Government to donate an amount of 210,000 Euros to host the IMO diplomatic conference, as well as supporting the UNEP secretariat, to provide a venue and hostship facility for the IMO conference in Nairobi, Kenya, next year, that has delivered the “open sesame” to Kenya winning a council membership of IMO, which begins in 2005, and terminates in 2007 (November).