By Patrick Chiriba
The government has pledged to capitalize on the untapped potential of its blue economy sector by transforming the Bandari Maritime Academy in Mombasa.
The Principal Secretary State Department for Shipping and Maritime Affairs, Shadrack Mwadime, made the commitment on Thursday during the launch of a strategic plan for the academy.
According to Mwadime, the blue economy sector presents an opportunity for the country’s economy to expand exponentially, improve livelihoods, create jobs, and spur economic growth.
He cited examples of other countries like Dubai, which have used the sector to grow their economies.
Mwadime also said that the state has set aside sh. 20 billion to boost and enhance international courses at the maritime college.
“We want to convert this institution into a regional centre of excellence; going forward, we will be setting aside resources as a government to ensure the kind of students we produce here are of the standards required internationally,” the PS said.
The government also plans to enter into agreements with countries that provide job opportunities for Kenyan graduates.
He added: “This will help in accessing the international labour market, and for us to access it, the quality of our certificates has to be as high as possible. We are therefore determined as a government to ensure this is implemented.”
The PS further stated that the government plans on setting up an advanced firefighting centre and a survival training centre to equip graduates with knowledge on sea safety.
Prof. Kinandu Muragu, Bandari Maritime Academy Board chairperson, emphasized the need to focus on fishing in the blue economy sector, which other countries have successfully exploited.