The State Department for Shipping and Maritime and State Department for Youth have now entered into an MOU to facilitate training and skills development for Kenyan youth seeking employment as seafarers onboard international ships.
“The Government is in the process of undertaking various activities aimed at revamping the maritime sector-more commonly referred to as the Blue Economy, in order to improve the social and economic wellbeing of Kenyans,” Principal Secretaries for Shipping and Maritime Mrs. Nancy Karigithu said before adding that through the MOU, Kenya aims to move closer to the “realization of sustainable blue growth, maritime skills development and access to employment opportunities for Kenyan youth”.
Kenya’s total maritime territory covers 230,000 square kilometers and a distance of 200 nautical miles offshore or more locally it is as big as 31 of the 47 counties combined according to Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA).
On top of that, the industry is grappling with a huge shortage of skilled personnel. Elizabeth Marami for example is Kenya’s first and only female marine pilot.
This is despite the maritime industry being ripe with opportunities for women. Aboard cruise ships, job opportunities are vast and don’t necessarily require high end skills, from housekeeping, garbage collectors, cleaners, waiters, bartenders, entertainers, shop sellers, casino dealers, receptionists, bartenders etc with the least being paid $750-900, with promotion guaranteed.
According to the International Labour Organization, women account for only 2% of the total workforce in the industry, and this has led to the unprecedented awareness about work opportunities for women.