A deal for the revival of Kenya National Shipping Line (KNSL), which is expected to create thousands of jobs at the Coast, was signed yesterday.
The company's revival is expected to create 10,000 jobs in the region and save the country Sh300 billion annually, money normally lost when using other shipping lines. The firm will have the sole mandate to handle cargo.
Yesterday, President Uhuru Kenyatta witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) to revive KNSL.
The MoU was signed by Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and Captain Giovanni Cuomo, the First Vice President of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), one of the leading global container shipping companies in the world.
The revival of the shipping line and upgrading of Bandari College into a centre of excellence for maritime studies, which was approved by the Cabinet this week, will transform Mombasa into a trans-shipment hub in the region.
It is a boost to ongoing efforts to mainstream blue economy as an important economic activity.
Speaking during the signing ceremony at State House, Nairobi, President Kenyatta said revival of the shipping line was a priority for Kenya because it will create jobs.
“We are very keen to revive the shipping line. And we are confident that we can run the shipping line again,” he said.
The President welcomed the Government’s partnership with MSC, saying he expects the relevant teams to work with dedication and speed so that the shipping line is launched soon.
“This is a valued partnership between Kenya and the private sector. I look forward to launching the shipping line soon,” said Uhuru.
International Transport Federation Mombasa Port Inspector Betty Makena said the move was good news for jobless Kenyan seafarers.
"We have our own locally sanctioned tertiary and university colleges that have a combined student population of about 3,000 requiring sea time training aboard vessels that call at the Port of Mombasa. Currently this batch of students have nowhere to turn to but once we have KNSL fully operational, we shall be able to take on board the jobless and students for sea time trainings," she said.
In reviving KNSL, through the partnership with MSC, the shipping line is expected to once again become an active participant in international seaborne trade, which accounts for a significant percentage of Kenya’s total trade.