Kenya eyes skills development to stimulate growth of blue economy
The Kenyan government and bilateral partners have embarked on training a critical mass of maritime cadets as part of efforts to boost the growth of the country's nascent blue economy, officials have said.
Nancy Karigithu, principal secretary in the State Department for Maritime and Shipping Affairs, said bridging the skills gap is key to establish a vibrant blue economy in the country, create jobs for the youth and alleviate poverty.
"In order to steer the blue economy to greater heights, there is an urgent need for highly skilled and qualified maritime personnel," Karigithu said on Thursday at a premier training center for seafarers in the coastal city of Mombasa.
She said the state-owned training center for maritime professionals had secured apprenticeship opportunities with French shipping giant CMA CGM, to enhance skills and competencies in Kenya's maritime sector.
Karigithu said that maritime cadets will also benefit from training on shore-based shipping and port operations, enhancing their employability in the international shipping industry.
She said Kenya has prioritized investments in the blue economy to boost tourism, sustainable fisheries, climate resilience and job creation for coastal youth.
"Our goal is to ensure the youth acquire the requisite skills and know-how to enable them to compete favorably for emerging opportunities in the blue economy," said Karigithu.
She said Kenya has developed a conducive policy and regulatory framework to spur investments in the blue economy and achieve long-term development.
Karigithu said that the ecological health of Kenya's vast coastline will be key to foster the growth of the blue economy, boost food security, climate resilience and local manufacturing.
Kenneth Mwige, director-general of Vision 2030, said Kenya is well positioned to become a blue economy hub subject to skills development, friendly regulations and partnership with industry.
Mwige said that revitalizing Kenya's maritime and shipping industries will boost cross-border trade, skills transfer and inclusive growth along the coastal strip grappling with rapid population growth.