Origins and status
SST arose from the African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme (ACEP) when it was a New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) flagship programme in 2006 and 2007. At that time ACEP was operating in the Western Indian Ocean with partners in Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles and Tanzania.
The member countries of the programme decided that a long-term education trust was needed to cater for sustainability and poverty alleviation of coastal communities through education and skills development.
SST was registered in South Africa as an international, charitable trust (IT 2203/ 2006), as a Not for Profit Organisation (NPO Number: 078-120-NPO) and a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO Number: 930022444). Although currently focused on South Africa, SST has a mandate to work in other coastal countries of Africa.
Dr Ribbink, who was managing ACEP at the time, became the first CEO of SST late in 2007.