Seventeen Kenyans have been hired to work aboard a fleet of vessels owned by a global shipping giant, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).
The company operates a fleet of 520 vessels calling on ports spread across 155 countries and facilitates international trade between the world’s major economies as well as among emerging economies across all continents.
The 17 Kenyans were recruited after rigorous vetting in Mombasa and will work as deck hands and in engine rooms of MSC vessels.
They join an earlier group of 152 Kenyans largely deployed to work aboard MSC cruise liners since last year.
Speaking at the Missions to Seafarers Centre, Mombasa, officials from the Seafarers Union of Kenya, led by its chairman Daudi Haji, said the hiring was a sign that Kenya had joined the league of nations that provide expert maritime labour.
Revitalising seafaring “We are currently revitalising seafaring in the country. President Uhuru Kenyatta is providing all the necessary support, and we as a union are in full support of his endeavour to set seafaring on a better footing,” said Haji.
The union’s general secretary Steve Owaki said it was an honour for Kenyan seafarers to be chosen to work aboard MSC vessels.
“MSC is a reputable shipping line and we are sure that their decision to tap into the Kenyan maritime labour market will not be in vain,” he said.
Some of the 17 that got the new maritime jobs said they had been waiting for decades to get a chance and thanked the Government for pitching for their hiring.
“It has been a long wait. Our Government has heeded our plea for help and played a big role in negotiating this deal. Maritime and Shipping PS Nancy Karigithu has been an inspiration and motivator all along,” said Mohamed Kassim Sebe, who joins MSC with 15 years sailing seaman experience. [Philip Mwakio]
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