Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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Kwale County encourages youth to enroll for maritime courses

Kwale County Deputy Governor (DG), Fatuma Achani, has asked youth in the County to enroll for maritime courses, so as to benefit from the upcoming Blue Economy sector.

The National Government has already listed several major projects, that will explore the sector that has remained unexploited for decades.

Among the interventions prioritized by the government is the construction of the Sh2.6 billion, Shimoni Fishing Port in Lunga Lung Sub-county and the Sh1.2 billion Regional Maritime Center of Excellence in Kombani town in Matuga Sub-county.

The National Government through Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is expected to commence the construction of the multi-billion project in April.

Speaking to the press, the Deputy Governor said youth in the County should enroll for short courses in maritime to break the chain of unemployment.

“Both the National and County governments has invested a lot of resources to actualize the exploitation of the Blue Economy sector and it’s upon the youth to think strategically and seek special skills on marine management to secure jobs,” Achani said, adding that the County government will fund youth pursuing courses in the sector.

She disclosed that the County will use the bursary kitty through the ‘Elimu ni Sasa’ initiative to sponsor at least 120 students interested in blue economy studies.

Achani said the proposed fishing port will be a pioneer fishing harbor in the coastal county and is expected to have a positive impact on trade and economic growth in the region.

The proposed industrial port infrastructure will include a multipurpose berth that will incorporate fish and conventional cargo handling and cold storage facilities besides a fish processing plant thus offering employment opportunities to the residents.

Achani added that the County Government has set enough resources to boost the education standards in the County.

She said the County Government has increased bursary allocation to learners in secondary schools and those in tertiary institutions and university levels.

“All students in secondary schools are allocated close to Sh 8,000 while those in universities and colleges get close to Sh 15,000. All these procedures are to empower the youth and once you enroll in these courses you will also benefit,” she said.

Since the inception of the devolved unit in 2013, the Kwale County government has been setting aside Sh400 million annually for education empowerment activities.

Among the education empowerment programs that have been prioritized by the Administration is the Elimu ni Sasa initiative that has offered full scholarships to over 3,000 students in national schools and over 5,000 students in universities.

The County Government has spearheaded the construction of over 500 Early Childhood Development Centres (ECD) across the four Sub-counties of Matuga, Msambweni, Lunga Lunga and Kinango.

Achani noted that the only way to reduce the percentage of unemployment in the County is through skill-based training, required in the current labour market.

The Deputy Governor further urged the youth to seek training in Vocational Training Colleges (VTC), spread across the County to gain vital skills for employment.

Achani noted that the government has at least constructed two VTC centers in each Sub-County aimed at empowering the young generation.

By Raymond Zaka and Hussein Abdullahi

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