President Uhuru Kenyatta commissions the Bandari Maritime Academy
By Winnie Kabintie
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday commissioned the Bandari Maritime Academy at the Kilindini port, Mombasa County.
The Bandari Maritime Academy, previously Bandari College, is a center of excellence in maritime training and was established as part of ongoing reforms in the maritime transport industry in the country.
The President said the institution will be tasked with equipping young Kenyans with the requisite skills to enable them to compete favorably for job opportunities in the Blue Economy sector.
SHORTAGE OF SEAFARERS
“The Bandari Maritime Academy will go along way in helping the government bridge the huge shortage of qualified seafarers in Kenya and the region to meet the needs of the emerging blue economy sector,” Uhuru said.
Bandari Maritime Academy will provide advanced education and training to appropriately-qualified candidates, leading to the award of diplomas and certificates and other such qualifications. The Academy will partner with the Kenya Utalii College, the Kisumu Maritime Centre as well as establish twinning arrangements with the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) Training Academy based in Naples, Italy.
A seafarer is a person engaged in sailing or working on a ship.
The Blue Economy is an emerging frontier that seeks to harness ocean resources for sustainable economic growth and Kenya has demonstrated its leadership role in championing the sustainable Blue economy.
The Jubilee administration has identified the Blue Economy as a key sector to its agenda to create employment, especially for the youth.
If properly harnessed, the blue economy has the potential to contribute up to 4.8 billion US dollars to the country’s GDP and create over 52,000 jobs in the next 10 years.
KENYA NATIONAL SHIPPING LINE REVIVED
President Kenyatta also announced the revival of the Kenya National Shipping Line (KNSL) and witnessed the signing of a new shareholding agreement between KNSL, Kenya Ports Authority and MSC aimed at restoring the State Corporation into a world class shipping company.
President Kenyatta announced a raft of reforms the government is undertaking to secure both local and international seafaring jobs for Kenyan youth.
KENYA LEADS ACTION ON SUSTAINABLE BLUE ECONOMY FOR THE COMMONWEALTH BLUE CHARTER
Kenya has demonstrated its leadership role in championing the sustainable Blue Economy and is one of 12 countries that has stepped forward to lead ‘action groups’ under the Blue Charter – a commitment made by the 53 Commonwealth member states to work together to solve ocean-related problems.