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Government Calls on Business Community to Explore Blue Economy

The business community has been encouraged to explore the available opportunities in Blue Economy, a sector where resources have not been fully exploited.

The Principal Secretary for Shipping and Maritime Affairs Mr. Shadrack Mwadime said   the sector has opportunities in the cruise and carrier ships since 90 percent of transportation of goods takes place in the waters.

Mwadime said countries where the economy has expanded through the exploitation of resources were able to develop fast, and urged businesses investing in real estate to seize the opportunity existing in the maritime industry.

“As a country we can exploit the shipping industry to address wealth creation and the unemployment rate which is so high by creating employment for the youth who constitute 75 percent of our population,” said Mwadime.

The PS made the remarks when he received the Managing Director of CMA CGM Company Mr. Jean Baptiste Longin, who had paid him a courtesy call at his office at NSSF building while in the company of Mr. Basmus Bermann Teliman and six graduates of Bandari Maritime Academy who were given a chance by the company to train abroad in sea time experience for one year.

The beneficiaries of the training included five Deck Cadets namely Amina Mwaurinda, Linda Wagumbe, MwijakaMaalim, Said Mohammed and Damaris Mwangi and Earnest Gachangu an Engine Cadet.

PS Mwadime thanked the company for supporting and developing the human resource capacity in the maritime sector by establishing linkages with industry players to enhance placement and advancement of graduates of Bandari Maritime Authority and providing them with the required sea time experience.

Mwadime at the same time urged the company to consider employing graduates from Kenya and to increase the number of the graduates they train to 25 to allow more to be absorbed in the sector.

He announced that this year, the country will pick at least 12 of the very best from Bandari Maritime Academy for the same training.

“We are also appealing to other shipping companies to emulate what CMA CGM has done and give sea time experience and subsequent employment to our graduates as we continue to provide highly skilled labour to the market,” said the PS.

Shadrack Mwadime, Principal Secretary (PS) for State Department for Shipping and Maritime Affairs, Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs (left) confers with Jean Baptiste Longin, Managing Director (MD) of CMA CGM Company Ltd (right) and Rasmus Berman Teliman (CMA CGM Official) when the MD and six Bandari Maritime Academy cadet graduates paid him (PS) a courtesy call at his offices, NSSF Building in Nairobi on Tuesday, February 21, 2023. Photos by Kibet Cheptumo

He at the same time urged shipping companies to absorb graduates from the local training institutions among them Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Technical University of Kenya and all Technical, Vocational, Education and Training colleges and institutions providing training maritime courses.

The PS said if more companies venture into the sector, it will increase opportunities for the country’s seafarers to work in all parts of the world, and appealed to international shipping companies to employ Kenyan graduates.

“We are pursuing partnerships with other International bodies like the World Maritime University and the Danish Ship Owners Association to offer scholarships to graduates to pursue advanced courses,” said Mwadime.

He assured that the State Department of Shipping and Maritime Affairs will continue to cooperate with various stakeholders to harness the potential of the maritime sector, through developing policies and human resource capacity to encourage job opportunities which will benefit the economy.

The PS also called upon graduates to maintain a high standard of discipline, professionalism and integrity once on board, as well as avoid activities or conduct that would taint the image of the country and compromise the job market for placement and advancement of future graduates in the sector.

Mwadime said the government has plans of converting the Bandari Maritime Academy to a centre of excellence in the region.

“We have requested the National Treasury to give us funds to expand the academy in our five year plan so that it can absorb more students. Once resources are set aside, it will come in tranches in the next 5 years,” said the PS adding that the government has already recruited 14 lecturers and will add 26 more.

He said the government also has plans to revamp the  Kenya National Shipping Line to enable it raise revenue, of which the money raised can also  be used to procure ships.

In his remarks, Mr. Jean Baptiste Longin said the company will continue to support, motivate and send more Kenyans abroad for training on vessels.

He said the six cadets they have trained abroad did a great job where they were attached describing it t a success to the management of the company.

“The six cadets have brought a lot of satisfaction, they have raised the Kenyan flag and made the country proud,” said Longin.

The State Department of Shipping and Maritime Affairs is mandated with the responsibility of  promoting maritime and shipping industry and  maritime transport management, as well as  promoting and facilitating placement of Kenyans in the global maritime market among others.

By Bernadette Khaduli

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