South African National Defence Force announces first director elect of World Hydrography Organisation

By Commander Sam Khasuli

The South African National Defence Force is gratified to announce that Captain Abri Kampfer, the South African Navy Hydrographer has been elected as the first Director of the International Hydrography (IHO) with effect from 1 September 2017.

The IHO is headed by three directors-a secretary General, First Director and Second Director-who are elected by the member-states.  This year, there were nine nominations from Turkey, France, Brazil, Italy, Germany, South Africa, Mexico, Bangladesh and Russia.  The Secretary General is Mathias Jonas from Germany, the First Director is Captain Abri Kampfer from South Africa and the Second Director is Mustafa Iptes from Turkey.

This prestigious appointment demonstrates the high level of integrity that the SA Navy’s Hydrographic Department is held in the international maritime community. Captain Kampfer was appointed as Hydrographer to the SA Navy in 2003 and in 2009 was awarded the Alexander Dalrymple Award by the UK Hydrographic Office for outstanding work in World Hydrography. In his tenure as SA Navy Hydrographer, Captain Kampfer was heading the departments responsible for producing all maritime charts to ensure the safe navigation of all ships and craft sailing in South African Waters. For the next six years Captain Kampfer will work from Monaco, where the IHO is based.

It is indeed noteworthy that the Hydrographer of a small Navy such as South Africa can be elected as the second-in-charge of the World body overseeing Hydrography. All South Africans can indeed be proud. The SA Navy might be small in numbers but its impact is felt worldwide.


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