- Twalib said that he had set aside Sh1.2 million from the Jomvu NG-CDF kitty that will see about 500 youth from his constituency get trained at the Bandari Maritime Academy.
- He called on his colleagues from the region to push for their constituents to get opportunities in the sector.
MPs from the Coast region have been urged to set aside money from their National Government – Constituency Development Fund to help train the youth in Blue Economy and maritime affairs.
Jomvu MP Badi Twalib said that the move will help the region tap into the immense opportunities in the sector, a move he said will play a pivotal role in dealing with the joblessness issue that has bedevilled the youth for years.
Twalib was speaking after organising the first Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Sensitisation Forum at his office, which saw about 1,000 youth get enlightened on the opportunities awaiting them.
The forum brought together different stakeholders from the sector, including the Kenya Coast Blue Economy, Kenya Maritime Authority, the Women in the Maritime Sector in East and Central Africa (Womesa), International Transport Workers Federation, Kenya Commercial Bank and Equity Bank among others.
“We are here with experts who will guide the youth on how to go about getting these jobs, my job as their leader was to link them with the experts so that they can learn what is good for them,” Twalib said.
“This is the first of such a forum by an MP and I promise that I will work with my colleagues so that we speak as a block and see how our youth not only here in Mombasa will benefit from the opportunities in the Blue Economy sector.”
Twalib said that he had set aside Sh1.2 million from the Jomvu NG-CDF kitty that will see about 500 youth from his constituency get trained at the Bandari Maritime Academy.
“I have faith that from this forum here today (Tuesday), Jomvu is going to make strides, we are going to the next level,” he said, even as he called on his colleagues from the region to push for their constituents to get opportunities in the sector.
President William Ruto in February announced that the government will invest in the sector and offer scholarships and training on port-related issues to the residents.
The legislator said these opportunities should also be extended to other parts of the region to address the issue of joblessness among the youth.
“I was in Lamu with the President and I want to assure you that we will work together to ensure that those opportunities not only cover one place, but we must ensure that youth from other areas are also covered.”
Kecobe chairman Mbwana Abdalla said that they were working on a long-term plan to ensure that Coast has about 100,000 seafarers by the year 2027.
This, he said, would be made possible if the Coast Parliamentary Group worked together.
“Our aim as Kecobe is to have 18,000 youth from the region trained annually, this translates to about 500 youth from all the constituencies in the six counties. This will help grow our region and will have a significant impact on the region’s GDP (gross domestic product),” Abdalla said.
Currently, the sector has around 3,000 registered seafarers.
Betty Makena, an ITF ship inspector and member of Womesa called on the youth, especially women, to get skills and identify their careers before thinking of venturing into the industry.
She is the first female port inspector in Kenya and the East African region.
“I want to tell our youth that you can’t just finish school and join the industry, you need to have a career and some sort of training. Our role here today (Tuesday) is showing the youth the existing opportunities, guiding them on how to apply and get them and the schools we have that can train them,” she said.
Makena commended efforts made so far in helping more women join the sector as she called on women and industry players to turn out in huge numbers on May 30 to join in a conference to commemorate the International Day for Women in the maritime sector.
Khalfan Baya, a ship inspector at KMA, reiterated the agency’s commitment to safeguard the welfare of Kenyans working in the industry.
He said that KMA has ensured that all recruitment agencies are registered by the government.
Also present in the forum was Nacada director Ali Swaleh who urged the youth to shun drugs and strive to be sober once they get opportunities to work in ships.
“The sector, as we understand it, requires sober people, I want to urge the youth to keep off drugs and be our good brand ambassadors,” Swaleh said.