A small delegation of Caribbean maritime officials, including Jamaica’s minister of Transport and Mining and Grantley Stephenson, CEO, Kingston Wharves, were in New York on Nov. 16 to attend the American Caribbean Maritime Foundation (ACMF) annual event.
Their visit comes on the heels of the transition to university status of the Caribbean Maritime Institute (now Caribbean Maritime University) at the 2017 Charter Day ceremonies held in Jamaica in September 2017. The Kingston-based Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) is the Caribbean region’s premier center for tertiary maritime education, training, research and consultancy.
While here Minister Michael Henry was acknowledged with the ACMF Leadership Award for his critical support in moving the process through the government approval process and for his ongoing support of the CMU over the years.
“He never lost the vision of what the CMU was and could grow to become,” said Dr. Fritz Pinnock, executive director of the CMU. “That encouragement drove all of us to the next level,” he added. The CMU will be expanding its curricula and program options with its engineering department, to be launched soon under its newest venture — the $3M facility, to be named FESTO Didactic Centre, will offer training in the industrial automation and mechatronics.
Implemented in partnership with German company FESTO Didactic, a world leader in industrial automation technology training, the world-class center will focus on areas such as robotics engineering, hydraulics and pneumatics.
The ACMF is the only entity dedicated to sponsoring scholarships for maritime students in the Caribbean. Acknowledging the indispensability of the maritime industry to Caribbean economies, Dr. Geneive Brown-Metzger, president of the ACMF noted, “there’s not been another sector as important to the region’s economy since bauxite. With the majority of cruise and cargo lines traversing the Caribbean Sea, and with the expansion of the Panama Canal opening up greater opportunities for the region, maritime has the potential to transform the region.”