The Africa Maritime Cabotage and Blue Economy Conference 2023 (AMCBEC) brought together distinguished industry experts, policymakers, academia, and sector players from the East African Community. The Conference was collectively planned by the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA), Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), Intergovernmental Standing Committee on Shipping (ISCOS), Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and State Department of Maritime and Shipping Affairs.
Under the theme “Unlocking the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Potential by Rethinking Maritime Cabotage and Blue Economy for Improved Connectivity,” Kenya Shipyards Limited was well represented by Major General Paul Otieno, Managing Director, and other staff to reinforce its commitment in catalyzing the shipbuilding industry.
Kenya Shipyards Limited acknowledges that the Blue Economy allows for the sustainable harnessing of maritime resources and is the next frontier of human development. As such, successful strategic milestones have been realized in barely three years since its incorporation. Among them is the construction of a 100-meter-long wagon ferry christened MV Uhuru II which was built in a record 24 months. This is a demonstration of KSL’s commitment to catalyze the shipbuilding industry and develop national value chains in the Blue Economy. Equipped with sophisticated systems and a carrying capacity of 22 wagons totaling 1,800 tons, the vessel will complement and supplement the other vessels in shipping and facilitate regional integration and trade.
KSL further showcased rehabilitation of MV Uhuru I in 2019 whose immense benefits was not only reviving an important national asset but also revived shipping activities at the Kisumu Port, increased vessel Port calls and cargo volumes which had deteriorated over the years. This emphasizes that KSL is cognizant of the fact that 90 percent of trade by volume and value is carried out through maritime transportation.
KSL understands that the Blue Economy space cannot be sufficiently and sustainably exploited without the provision of maritime security capabilities which provide an enabling environment for the maritime activities to thrive. In this case, KSL successfully undertook a midlife refit of KNS Shupavu, a Kenya Navy offshore patrol vessel which ensures defence of Kenya’s territorial integrity, safety, protection, and management of maritime resources in a world of increased strategic competition in the Indian Ocean. Further, KSL has provided maintenance, repairs, and refits to ensure maritime security assets are capable of modern-day combat and threats to other agencies. As such, to enforce sovereignty from threats from foreign countries and compliance at sea, KSL has repaired several vessels for Kenya Coast Guards Services and in tax enforcement, repaired vessels for agencies like Kenya Revenue Authority.
KSL also showcased its capabilities in civil and modular maritime construction and completion of successful strategic projects like dredging of Mbita and Kisumu Ports. The civil and maritime works ensure that the infrastructure around the waters is sustainable, meets IMO standards and are safe for landing and vessels calling the Ports for berthing. The civil works were undertaken during the upgrade of Kisumu Shipyard and construction of the 4,000-ton Mombasa slipway. Construction of KRC linkspan, jetties and shore works have also been undertaken in Kisumu. KSL mandate enhances intermodal transportation not only by promoting increased shipping through maritime transport but remanufacture and rehabilitation of KRC Locomotives is sure to facilitate railway transport which carry bulk cargo that reduce congestion and carbon footprint from the road infrastructure. This is a critical endeavor by KSL to help in realizing the SDGs and Kenya’s Vision 2030.

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