The Summit, over two days, takes place at one of Africa’s most rapidly developing Maritime economies.

As the biggest and most comprehensive Maritime Initiative in the region, the Summit draws participants from every sector of the Maritime economy. These include policy makers, funders, investment agencies, existing maritime businesses, entrepreneurs, conservationists, researchers, media and public.

The Summit then is easily the most expedient way of engaging with key buyers and suppliers throughout Africa and of developing a tangible portfolio of information, resources and opportunities available to give life to Operation Phakisa in the rapidly exploding Blue Economy of the region.

Countdown to Summit








Proudly hosted by:


1. While much is spoken about the Ocean Economy and its imperatives, at a practical level, movement and a cohesive plan are lacking. The summit addresses the actual opportunities of the marine economy and how business and entrepreneurs can access them.

2. The Summit will provide a platform for Business to Business discussions and trade between maritime industry players across South Africa, with specific application to the stimulation of the ocean economy in the region.

3. The summit provides local business people, the rest of the country, continent and globe with an opportunity of understanding the business climate and opportunity, as well as networking with its stakeholders at the heart of Africa’s maritime economy.

The summit encourages and promotes maritime learning and careers, as well as public awareness and participation

The Venue, Hemingways Mall

The 2016 Eastern Cape Maritime Summit was hosted with great success, with the input of both the DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND TOURISM (DEDEAT) MEC SAKHUMZI SOMYO and BUFFALO CITY METROPOLITAN MUNICIPALITY EXEC MAYOR XOLA PAKATI. For further information about the 2017 Summit, kindly contact us.

IMG_9162 email

Message from Border-Kei Chamber of Business Executive Director, Les Holbrook

The Border-Kei Chamber of Business invites you to participate in the second annual Eastern Cape Maritime Summit to be hosted in East London from 26-28 October 2016. All of the major maritime stakeholders and role-players will gather at The Venue @ Hemingways later this year to explore the myriad opportunities in the maritime industry throughout the Eastern Cape and how we can tap into them effectively. The Eastern Cape has the most compelling case for maritime investment and growth, yet it seems to be slow-moving with respect to the opportunities of Operation Phakisa.
As the custodians of business in Buffalo City, which is home to 1 of 3 ports and 1 of 2 Industrial Development Zones (IDZ) in the province, we are intent on driving investment in the Ocean Economy and realising the myriad opportunities not yet tapped into. We encourage every member to be a part of this initiative to drive the Ocean Economy, in Buffalo City and the Eastern Cape, forward so that we may see the imperatives of Operation Phakisa realised.

Yasteel 1 resized

Message from General Manager for the Times Media Group (Eastern Cape)
Yasteel Kuseeal

For over 140 years, the Daily Dispatch has been a prominent voice in all matters affecting the Border Kei community. This has especially been true regarding news and developments that have shaped our economy and maritime sector. In fact, our roots are firmly embedded in local maritime history, as in 1872, we were first known as the East London Dispatch and Shipping and Mercantile Gazette.

Over the years, as a company we have grown alongside the local maritime sector and reported on the phenomenal progress made to grow our region into one of Africa’s maritime success stories. It is therefore an honour for us to be a media partner to the second annual Eastern Cape Maritime Summit – an event that is not only of interest to our readers, but one that also contributes immensely to the growth of the local and African Blue Economy. We are and will forever remain passionately local and committed to showcasing our burgeoning maritime sector, and to being a catalyst for future initiatives that propel our economy forward.


Message from Transnet Port Terminals CEO, Karl Socikwa:

Transnet Port Terminals, as a catalyst for economic development, is pleased to play a leading role in the Eastern Cape Maritime Summit. The region’s unique ports, not only demonstrate much potential but are already achieving significant growth for our economy.

I take great pride in the successes that TPT achieves under my watch, including significant productivity and operational efficiency improvements, continued financial stability and strength and, most recently, the national Productivity SA award for the PE Terminal.
I believe that TPT has a significant contribution to make in growing South Africa’s economy through increased imports, exports and the transshipment of cargo.

To further grow our operations and raise levels of efficiencies, we have focused our resources and efforts into job creation, skills development, localisation, empowerment and transformation opportunities.
Consequently, Transnet Port Terminals and myself personally, look forward to using the Summit as a platform through which to engage with the industry as we seek to work and grow together.
See you there.



(Download The Summit rationale here)

80% of the country’s trade is carried out by sea and it has therefore become necessary to prioritise the shipping industry.

South Africa is one of the top 15 shipping countries in the world in terms of the tonnage transported to and from its ports.

The Eastern Cape Province with its 800km of coastline, and three ports is set to become South Africa’s leading hub of maritime economic activity.

The province is home to the two major port cities of Port Elizabeth and East London, both established industrial manufacturing coastal centres, giving the Eastern Cape several strategic competitive advantages.

Nelson Mandela Bay’s Port of Ngqura, a deep-water sea port is adjacent to the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) It is becoming the fastest growing terminal in the world.

The South African government has partnered with South Korea to establish a national shipping company.

World sea traffic passes by the Eastern Cape on the East-West pendulum trade routes, opening up major opportunities for ship-building and repairs in the region.

Demand for ocean cruises increased by 77% over the past decade with the majority of passengers American, followed by travellers from Europe.

The region also houses one of the first-ever Big Seven game reserves – Addo Elephant National Park – which integrates the Big Five with marine life to include the Great White shark and Southern Right whale.

The Region is South Africa’s water sports capital, home to major water events – including the only international Ironman event on the African continent.

The drive for South Africa to maximise its participation in the global “blue economy”, was strengthened with the launch of the South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Founded as an initiative of the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), the institute will promote and coordinate maritime education, skills development and research to support South Africa in harnessing the potential of its mostly untapped maritime resources.

Government’s recent launch of the Operation Phakisa Ocean Labs initiative to develop the plans required to unlock the economic potential of the country’s oceans has placed the maritime economy firmly on the national socio-economic development agenda.

Similarly, the African Union adopted the 2050 Africa Integrated Maritime (AIM) Strategy in January 2014, with the vision to develop an environmentally sustainable and integrated blue economy across the continent.

NMMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Derrick Swartz said both Operation Phakisa and the AIM strategy provided “a unique opportunity for the education sector to contribute to stimulating a maritime economy that is sustainable, efficient and globally competitive”.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Maritime Cluster is soon to establish a Regional Ocean Council (ROC) affiliated to the World Ocean Council (WOC)