Kenya’s Maritime and Shipping Affairs Department has signed a five year agreement with a Danish firm, Det Forenede Dampskibs-Selskab (DFDS) to provide training to marine engineering and nautical science cadets. The cadets will acquire seagoing skills for one year, which is a mandatory requirement for professionals. DFDS is one of Europe’s largest shipping and logistics companies.
The agreement will assist in creation of a marine manufacturing market including ship repair, rig repair and refurbishment and boat building. Also, it will boost Kenya’s share in the involvement in the maritime sector.
The move is in line with the department’s plan to expand maritime training so as to equip Kenyan youths with skills to enable them access seafaring skills both locally and internationally.
Statistics indicate that maritime transport takes care of 92 per cent of our international trade by volume. The trend is expected to grow with the discovery of more natural resources in the country as well as in the region. Though, capacity building continues to mar the sector with private sector calling for more investment in training institutions to explore the long under-exploited industry.
As at now institutions that offer marine engineering is Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in collaboration with the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) to provide training at degree level.
In March 2016, a roadmap was launched to integrate the national maritime policy that could lead to the Integrated National Maritime Policy (INMP). The policy is expected to co-ordinate maritime issues and ensure maximum benefits to the economy.
Kenya being a member of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has signed about 26 conventions that have been domesticated through the Merchant Shipping Act, 2009.