PORT ELIZABETH – The South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) has announced the appointment of Soraya Artman to steer its operational side, as it seeks to strengthen partnerships within the South African maritime sector and beyond.
Previously the senior manager of finance for the Nelson Mandela University Business School, Artman brings a wealth of experience in finance and corporate governance within a research-driven organisation to her new role as director of operations.
“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.”
Headquartered in Port Elizabeth, SAIMI was established through funding support from the National Skills Fund, to coordinate the development and implementation of a national skills development plan for the maritime sector. It also provides a link between industry and training and academic institutions to ensure that education and training programmes meet the needs of the maritime sector.
Artman said her role would be to implement and improve processes to ensure efficient operations within SAIMI to facilitate its founding purpose.
“The goal is to ensure that SAIMI remains both visible and accessible. As such we will be reaching out to all stakeholders with whom SAIMI could have mutually beneficial collaborations and partnerships,” she said.
“I envision SAIMI as 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.”
Explaining what the appointment meant to her, Artman said it provided her with the opportunity to broaden her work focus beyond finance, where she worked for the past five years.
“Prior to that I was involved in all aspects of operations management and I am therefore very excited by the prospects at SAIMI. The maritime sector is very broad and extremely interesting,” she said.
Of her role as a woman in a top-level leadership position, Artman said there were already several talented women employed at SAIMI, who occupied critical roles and had achieved a lot in the three years of the organisation’s existence.
“I am happy to be joining this dynamic team,” she said.
SAIMI chief executive officer Professor Malek Pourzanjani said: “Soraya’s appointment is one of several key appointments being made by SAIMI in its efforts to expand its management capacity and further strengthen its ability to meet the needs of the maritime sector.
“Her experience in finance and operations management adds significant value to SAIMI, as does her familiarity with the education sector and corporate environment.”