Government Commits To Build Capacity In The Blue Economy

The government is committed to continue supporting the Bandari Maritime Academy to create employment and transform the institution into a world-class training facility.

Speaking during a visit to the Academy, Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs’ Cabinet Secretary (CS) Salim Mvurya said he had received a proposed master plan from the academy anchored on critical pillars that include the development of infrastructure, Investment, and Human resource capacity.

Mvurya said that the master plan will form part of the foundation that will see the realization of the Blue Economy transformative agenda in the country.

He noted that a key constituent drawn from the ten-year master plan is the development of a marine survival training center that will be built at a cost of Sh.3.6 billion.

This, according to Mvurya, is a vital piece of infrastructure that will help facilitate the training of seafarers to be at par with international standards.

‘We have isolated key components in the master plan, one of which is the establishment of a marine survival training center and already the government has allocated Sh.550 million for the inception of the center,’ he said.

He added that the master plan once fully commissioned will be implemented in phases with the first phase costing Sh.1.4 billion.

The CS added that as part of the government’s commitment to build capacity, the President earlier directed that the Ministry train 2000 coxswains free of charge.

Mvurya noted that the training will commence in October and by the end of the year the first batch will have undergone the training.

With a global total of 1.9 million seafarers against the 3000 Kenyan seafarers, Mvurya says the ratio is sub-par hence the insistence on more capacity building to ensure more Kenyans get opportunities to work on board ships.

‘There are currently 3900 of 6900 fully trained and qualified seafarers currently unattached to vessels but we are engaging international shipping lines in order to find the placements and therefore improve our global ratio significantly,’ he added.

The CS also said through the State Department of Shipping and Maritime Affairs, the ministry was working to ensure before the end of the year there will be three industrial vessels plying fisheries in the exclusive economic zone, a move that will see a further 500 Kenyans get employed in the maritime space.

Source: Kenya News Agency