The South African International Maritime Institute has appointed a new director of operations, Soraya Artman, to help grow the local maritime industry.

SAIMI promotes and facilitates maritime research, education and training by linking industry with educational institutions. It was formally established three years ago, with boat building is one of its focus areas.

Artman was previously senior manager of finance for the Nelson Mandela University Business School. She has now been tasked with making SAIMI “both visible and accessible to all aspects of the maritime industry,” the organisation said in a statement issued last month.

Artman said she was excited by the chance to broaden her work focus: “The maritime sector is very broad and extremely interesting,” she said, adding that SAIMI had already achieved much in its short existence. “I envision an institute that supports a world-class culture of business growth and responsiveness to the market, which promotes learning, that is at the forefront of knowledge generation in the sector and that provides an environment for employee growth, motivation and innovation.”

“One of SAIMI’s overarching aims is to be a national institute which is recognised nationally and internationally. To achieve this, we need to partner with all universities, colleges and private training providers who have an interest in maritime affairs,” Artman said.

“This will help South Africa pursue its national interest in growing maritime economic participation. We also need to grow and enhance SAIMI’s education and training portfolio and services to the maritime industry,” she said.

SAIMI is collaborating with South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research  (CSIR) to create a much-needed maritime ‘roadmap’ aimed at developing structured financing and other support mechanisms for maritime sector growth