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EU funds the development of maritime curriculum

The European Union has bolstered Kenya’s efforts to enhance maritime security through the development of the first interagency curriculum on Maritime Security Governance in conjunction with Bandari Maritime Academy (BMA).

Expertise France, the French Public Agency for International Cooperation, is tasked with the implementation of the EU-funded Go Blue component dedicated to the improvement of maritime security and safety in Kenya.

The curriculum is aimed at improving cooperation and interoperability between Kenya’s maritime security agencies.

To ensure the comprehensive safety and security of Kenyan territorial waters, the Kenya Navy, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Maritime Authority, Kenya Coast Guard, and National Environment Management Authority are developing a common core of knowledge on Maritime Pollution and the Search of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.

The EU Ambassador to Kenya, Henriette Geiger, led a delegation of ambassadors on a tour of the BMA to highlight the importance of the Blue Economy for Kenya.

Geiger said that they are very hopeful that the curriculum will lay the groundwork for very ambitious maritime security cooperation in Kenya.

Geiger added that the Go Blue project is the EU flagship project that seeks to develop all aspects of the Blue Economy.

“We are here at this academy to highlight how important the training on maritime security is to develop a sustainable Blue Economy,” said Ambassador Geiger, adding that they are impressed with the implementation of projects at the academy and will support future projects on the training of maritime security.

Bandari Maritime Academy’s acting CEO, Francis Muraya, extolled the EU for funding the curriculum. He appealed to the high-level EU delegation to assist the academy in implementing its Sh19 billion master plan.

“There are many facilities that we need, like simulators, a fire station, a ship, and a survival Centre,’’ said the Ag. CEO.

France’s Ambassador Arnaud Suquet noted that BMA is an important institution providing skills to Kenyans, and France will deepen cooperation in skill enhancement in the maritime sector.

CMA-CGM, a leading shipping company, has partnered with BMA to support the training of seafaring cadets. Since the signing of the MoU in 2021 with the Kenyan government, the shipping line has offered training and sea internships to 12 students.

“As France, we want to partner with this institution through the Go Blue project, which is focusing on safety and security at sea, which is critical when you get to the maritime world.

We also want to leverage the private sector and industry, and we are also proud that CMA-CGM has established a partnership with Bandari while providing sea time to seafarer cadets,’’ said Ambassador Suquet.

Chairman of the Blue Economy Committee in the Council of Governors, Issa Timamy, thanked the EU for supporting the Blue Economy sector which has the potential to employ many youths. Timamy Said BMA is a premier maritime institution that is churning out skilled and competitive youth.

By Sadik Hassan

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