There is a shortage of 520,000 people in the maritime sector, the Principal Secretary, Shipping and Maritime Affairs in Kenya Nancy Karigithu said on Thursday.

Speaking in a morning show at a local TV station, Nancy mentioned that more people should consider getting trained in that sector.

“We need more people to be trained and certified to work in the sector. There is a shortage of 70,000 top-level officers and 450,000 people who assist them run the ships,” Nancy said.

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According to the maritime sector PS, the reason why not many people know about maritime jobs is that the sector is a very quiet one.

“This is a sector that works very quietly but efficiently day and night but very little is understood about it,” Nancy said.

In 2019, the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) Director-General, Major (Rtd) George Okongo observed that maritime training was lagging behind other training programs in Kenya. Kenya almost got locked out of the list of seafarer trainers by the International Maritime Organization.

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To correct this, KMA partnered with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) and other industry experts to develop a maritime transport logistics curriculum.

Currently, the course is being offered at certificate and diploma levels at vetted training institutions. Some of the institutions currently offering the course include Bandari College in Mombasa, Mount Kenya University, Technical University of Mombasa, Africa College of Aviation and Management in Nairobi just to name a few.

September 24th is World Maritime Day which is a day set aside by the UN to create awareness on the importance of the maritime sector to the society. Kenya in, particular, does a lot of trade through the waters.