Kenya’s Go Blue Economy is on track if the graduation of the first 120 youth trainees in Taita Taveta County is anything to go by.
The graduation ceremony held Monday at Voi Vocational Training Centre (VVTC) was a powerful reminder that the national government is ready to keep its promise of delivering development to the coastal counties through partnering, training, and mentoring local youthful manpower into industrial and marine experts.
The 120 youths who wore their graduation gowns and square hats were a happy lot as they were now fully equipped with hard and soft skills to inject into the economy of the Jumuia ya Kaunti za Pwani umbrella.
The trainees had been taken through rigorous training in the areas of marine security, hospitality, vessel repair, and tourism, which are the cornerstones to creating a bluer economy by tapping into the massive Indian Ocean resources as well as other offshore water and land endowments of the six coastal counties.
Speaking at the graduation, Taita Taveta County Governor and the current chair of Jumuia ya Kaunti za Pwani Granton Samboja said that development that impacts on the common citizen could be achieved through partnerships and exploitation of local resources.
“It is evident that meaningful development that impacts on the common man is achievable through partnerships and coordinated harnessing of local resources. The national government has set the tune for such partnership and we are happy the fruits are evident here today,” spoke Governor Samboja.
Kenya’s Blue economy strategy follows a global roadmap that seeks to exploit marine and maritime resources to prop development projects with an impact on the local population through creating value-added products and services as well as creating employment opportunities for the youth.
Kenya’s Go Blue Economy blueprint targets to build local, regional, national, and global partnerships in capacity building, training and incubating local talent, and creating a network of opportunities for the locals.
So far, the initiative has brought together the government of Kenya, German Corporation (GIZ), the European Union, Go Blue, Jumuia ya Kaunti za Pwani and Kapyei to forge a partnership of purpose and to entice local participation.
Top in the development agenda is the fishing industry, which as of today provides direct and indirect employment opportunities to over two million people.
The Go Blue Economy will play a critical role in streamlining and formalizing the sector and in return create jobs, generate revenue, and bolster food security in the region and country.
By Arnold Linga Masila