by Joy Nabukewa
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President
Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday launched a maritime academy in the
coastal city of Mombasa as part of efforts to position the blue
economy sector as a key driver of the country’s transformation.
The Bandari Maritime Academy aims at bridging the huge shortage
of qualified seafarers in Kenya and the region to meet the needs
of the emerging blue economy sector.
"The Academy is expected to become a top supplier of world
class seafarers for shipping lines all over the world," Kenyatta
said during the launch.
He also announced a raft of reforms the government is
undertaking to secure both local and international seafaring
jobs for Kenyan youth.
Kenyatta said the new institution will be key in equipping
young Kenyans with the requisite skills and knowhow to enable
them to compete favorably for employment opportunities in the
vast blue economy sector.
It is estimated that blue economy, if properly harnessed, has
the potential to inject up to 380 billion shillings (4.8 billion
U.S. dollars) to Kenya’s economy and create over 52,000 jobs in
the next 10 years.
Kenyatta said the Bandari Maritime Academy will partner with
the Kenya Utalii College, the Kisumu Maritime Centre and also
establish twinning arrangements with the Mediterranean Shipping
Company (MSC) Training Academy based in Naples, Italy.
"I am confident that the enhanced training will bring out the
best in our talented young people," said Kenyatta.
He said the transformation of the college into a centre of
excellence in maritime training and research is envisaged to
facilitate the country’s quest to reap maximum benefits from the
blue economy sector, an agenda that the President has given
Bandari Maritime Academy will provide advanced education and
training to appropriately qualified candidates, leading to the
award of diplomas and certificates and other such
"We are, indeed, emerging in the world as a rising maritime
nation," Kenyatta said.