A top maritime education
- The World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden was founded in 1983 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
- Students come from all over the world to enrol in the masters’ programme. Alumni include Max Meija, previously of the Philippine Maritime Authority and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.
- The weeklong anti-corruption course (CORA) consists of five modules: corruption awareness, corruption and maritime security and safety, leadership, change management and communication, the psychology of corruption and negotiation techniques.
But what also became clear during the week is that corruption is not just something that exists on the part of public authorities, but also something that is present within the private sector, and both sides have to take ownership of the issue.
As Captain Hossam Eldin Bakr, Lecturer at the College of Maritime Transport, Egypt, pointed out:
“Some companies engage in corruption in developing countries to get their business done. So they are complicit. How can you apply one rule in your country and ask for something different in other countries? We need to fight corruption as a whole. You cannot catch the tail and leave the head.”
Making a change
The hope is that the training will provide future leaders of the maritime sector with the knowledge and tools to help in fight against corruption.
“Corruption is a big battle, but I see that education plays a very important role,” said Captain Bakr.
“It might take a long time to get into the system and inspire people, but if we incept these ideas to today’s students, in 10 years’ time, one of them might be in a place to make a change.”
Nino Gorgoshadze from the Maritime Transport Agency in Georgia said she now felt inspired to stand up against the issue immediately. “There are 47 countries represented here and it gives the message as to what is moral and what is not. We have learnt how widely corruption can spread, and become aware of the consequences it can have.”
“An important message for me was that public service can be done without corruption. It’s a duty to serve people. If your education is not in tune with these core values, you cannot serve your country.”
“If you see corruption and there are high-level people involved it’s not always easy to do something. But if you don’t take steps to prevent it, you are part of the system. So somehow you have to find a way. To be silent is not a way out,” says Gorgoshadze.