NAIROBI, July 9 (Xinhuanet) – The Kenyan government and bilateral partners have begun training a critical mass of midshipmen to fuel the growth of the country’s burgeoning blue economy, officials said.
Nancy Karigithu, chief secretary for the Department of Maritime and Maritime Affairs, said bridging the skills gap is key to building a vibrant blue economy in the country, creating jobs for the youth and alleviating poverty.
“To take the blue economy to greater heights, there is an urgent need for highly skilled and qualified maritime personnel,” Karigithu said on Thursday at a world-class seafarers training center in the coastal city of Mombasa.
She said the state training center for maritime professionals has secured apprenticeships with French shipping giant CMA CGM to improve skills and competencies in Kenya‘s maritime sector.
Karigithu said midshipmen will also benefit from training in land shipping and port operations, which will improve their employability in the international shipping industry.
She said Kenya has given priority to investing in the blue economy to boost tourism, sustainable fishing, climate resilience and job creation for youth on the coast.
“Our goal is to ensure that young people acquire the skills and know-how necessary to enable them to apply for new opportunities in the blue economy cheaply,” Karigithu said.
She said Kenya has developed a conducive political and regulatory framework to stimulate investment in the blue economy and achieve long-term development.
Karigithu said the ecological health of Kenya’s vast coastline will be key to growing the blue economy, increasing food security, climate resilience and local production.
Kenneth Mwige, director general of Vision 2030, said Kenya is well positioned to become a center of the blue economy, subject to skill development, friendly regulations and partnership with industry.
Mwige said the revitalization of Kenya’s maritime and shipping industries will boost cross-border trade, skill transfer and inclusive growth along the coastal strip facing rapid population growth.