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Maritime & Blue Economy

Maritime & Blue Economy

Commitment to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development & the Blue Economy

Kenya has taken the lead in supporting and implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aimed at fostering sustainable use of the blue economy domain. Kenya is the leader of the Blue Economy Action Group under the Commonwealth Blue Charter and encourages better stewardship of ‘blue’ resources.

In 2018, Kenya hosted the first ever Global Conference on a Sustainable Blue Economy. The Conference brought together 16,320 participants from 184 Countries under the theme ‘Blue Economy and the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development’. A total of 7 Heads of States, 84 Ministers, Heads of International Organizations and other high level dignitaries graced the conference. The key areas of focus during the conference included but were not limited to: – smart shipping, sustainable energy, climate action, maritime security, safety and regulatory enforcement employment, job creation and poverty eradication, sustainable fisheries, sustainable use of the oceans, seas, lakes and rivers all of which focused on an all-inclusive blue economy for economic development and poverty eradication where societal groups including women and youth are engaged.

Kenya is committed to realizing the resolutions of the Nairobi Global Conference on Sustainable Blue Economy which include:

  • Maximizing opportunities of the Blue economy in the context of cities and towns;
  • Better collaboration between cities and towns, and between countries, and continents around the world;
  • Identification of better governance structures and ideas that improve the economic transformation;
  • Identification of technologies that can help accelerate sustainable development; and
  • Building better towns and cities around the Blue economy.

Kenya is also scheduled to co-host the upcoming Oceans 2020 Conference.

Contribution to global efforts in reduction of greenhouse emission from Shipping

Climate change remains a key area of concern for the maritime community. Kenya has taken lead towards action against climate change, by among other things, hosting the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC) for Africa which is among the five (5) centers under the Global Maritime Network set up to support the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reduction strategy. The center serves to build capacity for mitigation of the effects of climate change for the shipping industry and promote adoption of energy efficient technologies in the maritime sector.

MTCC Africa has held several capacity building workshops across Africa with the aim of building capacity and raising awareness in Africa on climate change mitigation in the maritime sector. Kenya has also embarked on ambitious projects in line with the proposed project outputs that relate to green shipping and energy efficiency. It is anticipated that the results of these projects will provide lessons not only for Africa but the International Maritime Community in general.

Promotion of Maritime security

Maritime security remains a key component for safe maritime transport. Towards this objective, Kenya continues to play a key role in securing the maritime domain within the Western Indian Ocean. As a signatory to the Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCOC) as well as membership to the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, both instruments of the United Nations Security Council, Kenya continues to collaborate within these Regional Security Mechanisms instrumental in addressing the challenges of maritime security.

In compliance with its obligations under the 2009 Djibouti Code of Conduct on the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships and the Jeddah 2017 Amendments (that widened its mandate to other maritime crimes), Kenya has strengthened national structures through legislation to ensure compliance to the requirements for information sharing at both national and regional level for enhanced maritime domain awareness and security.

To meet the needs for increased global awareness and comprehensive approaches on maritime security through maritime domain awareness, Kenya hosted the 21st Plenary of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGCPS) in 2018. In recognition of Kenya’s role and contribution to maritime security in the West Indian Coast, the country has been elected to chair the CGPCS from January 2020 for a period of two years. This reiterates Kenya’s commitment to making the group an effective mechanism to fight piracy in its area of jurisdiction. It is also a clear indication of the country’s commitment to the international community to ensure collaboration in regional initiatives towards tackling other maritime crimes.

In 2008 the Government of Kenya also hosted a High-Level International Conference on Piracy, a consultative meeting on Acts of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Vessels. The country thereafter offered its national courts for the prosecution of suspected pirates and as a result of which a total of one hundred and seventy three pirates were convicted to serve their jail terms in Kenyan Prisons.

Military operations by Kenyan troops in Somalia, especially in and around Kismayu – which was previously the bedrock of Somali piracy – are directly linked to the near-eradication of piracy in the Indian Ocean. This has helped secure maritime routes thus saving ship-operators and governments from the heavy costs related to piracy. The recent establishment of the Kenya Coastguard Agency as a multi-agency organization is expected to improve surveillance and security as well as maritime law enforcement along the 600 km Kenyan coastline and territorial waters.

The Regional Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RMRCC)

Kenya hosts the Regional Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RMRCC) in Mombasa, covering on behalf of the international maritime community, the maritime search and rescue region of Somali, Kenya, United Republic of Tanzania and the Seychelles and providing a very useful point of contact where ships regularly seek advice or assistance when sailing in waters off the coast of Somalia as well as also report security concerns about other ships movements or communications in the area. All these measures have been very useful in the monitoring of piracy and armed robberies in waters off the Coast of Somalia. The Centre is poised to play a bigger role in achieving the new expanded mandate of the Djibouti Code of Conduct for information sharing on other maritime crimes

Maritime Trade Facilitation

In line with the requirements for facilitation of international maritime traffic, Kenya has been a key proponent for the implementation of the Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL) Convention in the region. To ensure compliance, Kenya has established a Maritime Single Window platform to enhance electronic data interchange and faster cargo clearance.

Kenya has also developed a Port Community Charter to increase efficiency at the Port of Mombasa and reduce the cost of doing business for the realization of the full potential of the Port, which is a gateway to the Eastern and Central African region and beyond. The Charter brings together a multiplicity of statutory bodies and private sector players who are an integral part of trade facilitation and logistics chain within the region.

Improvement in Port infrastructure has also been a key focus for the Republic of Kenya to ensure timely turnaround time for vessels. A new Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line has been inaugurated to ensure faster movement of cargo from Mombasa to the hinterland.

Kenya’s Port of Mombasa also received an award in the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) World Ports Sustainability in the category of Ethics and Governance in May, 2019.

Maritime Education and Training (MET) & Seafarers’ Welfare

Kenya is also a signatory to the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006) and is on the IMO White List of countries giving full implementation to the International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification & Watchkeeping for Seafarers, (STCW 95), as amended. In line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) 4,5 and 8 respectively, on quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, and in cognizance of the competency of its seafarers, Kenya is geared up to contribute to the global shortage of seafarers.

Kenya is in the forefront in promoting Maritime Education and Training for both land and sea based education and training programs.  The programs aim at training competent Kenyans to drive the blue economy on land and at sea as well increase the marketability and employability of Kenyan seafarers by global ship-owning companies.  

Kenya is currently working on more initiatives to increase the number of Kenyan seafarers being employed aboard foreign vessels in line with the nation’s “Big 4 development Agenda’ and the Country’s Blue Economy Initiative.


Heads of state and Dignitaries at the Nairobi Blue Economy Conference

Bankable Projects Follow the link below

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Final Report

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