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Authority allocates Sh50M to sponsor youths to acquire technical skills

LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority has set aside Sh50M for scholarships to enable youths to acquire technical skills in line with Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).

Speaking during a sensitization forum on career opportunities in the Blue Economy sector in Mombasa LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority Chairman Ali Mbogo said the sector has numerous job opportunities that the youth can tap into to eke a living.

The LAPSSET Chairman said the authority is setting up a 5000 acres Special Economic Zone in Lamu, and more than 300 companies are expected to start projects.

Mbogo said youths who would want to enroll at the Bandari Maritime Academy to study the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers (STCW) course and have not been able to pay would be sponsored by the authority.

“They are numerous opportunities in the maritime sector but most of our people have not been able to secure the jobs because of their economic situations,” said Mbogo.

He added that LAPSSET will focus on skills development for youths to benefit from the Lamu Port which has been operationalized.

“We don’t want our people from the Coast region and the other areas where LAPSSET passes through to be left out in the job opportunities,” he said, adding that the authority will initiate negotiations with learning institutions to tailor-made courses that will suit the youths.

Mbogo beseeched Coastal youths to stop lamenting but instead pursue education for them to be out of the unemployment yoke.

“Even if you have failed in class 8 you can start with an artisan certificate. We are ready to hold your hands. It doesn’t mean if you have failed in KCPE it’s the dead end.

“Let’s not be cheated we need to focus more on skills even if you have a degree in whatever course back it up with a skill, even if it’s a certificate in refrigeration, plumbing, electrical, or masonry for us to move forward,” Mbogo urged the youths.

Coast Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Mzee Mwinyi Mzee encouraged the youths to enroll in short courses to acquire skills in maritime because the Coast region has not exhausted the potential of its coastline.

Mzee said negotiations are ongoing with the Youth Enterprise Development Fund to come up with a baharia fund for youths to get interest-free loans.

By Sadik Hassan

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