Ports, maritime college poised to make Kenya the regional trade hub
SEE ALSO :Spices can energise Kenya’s exportsIn keeping with the aforementioned words of Saint-Exupery, the academy will surely teach its students “to long for the endless immensity of the sea”. Yet, the resulting tangible benefits for Kenya should not be overlooked. By jump-starting the Kenyan Blue Economy, Uhuru proves once again he knows how to read the map and navigate his ship through the stormy waves of the future better than most other politicians in Africa. First, the beautiful Kenyan shores are perfectly placed in order to be the gates of entry to Africa in general and Eastern Africa in particular. The deep-shore ports constructed along the coast, together with the well-educated alumni of the Bandari Maritime Academy, will propel Kenya to become the hub of trade for the whole region. These moves are part of a greater plan of infrastructure development that connects the shore with the higher parts of the country through roads and railways. Developing these peripheral regions is also a major part of the popular devolution strategy.
SEE ALSO :Equity goes fifth after weekend winsBigger plans Yet, there are even bigger plans at work here, and the President’s plans for a Kenyan Blue Economy are a piece that fits perfectly into the greater puzzle. And Kenya is not alone. China’s Belt and Road initiative envisions a global network of trade routes – the world’s newest superpower has learnt from history and understands that the policies of the Ming Dynasty were grossly misguided. With a Kenyan workforce that is well equipped to play a meaningful role in this network of trade, we also stand to profit enormously from this outlook. Additionally, the recently signed agreement on African free trade points towards a similar, yet different future.
SEE ALSO :Brave KPA cage Equity Bank HawksInstead of being merely one ring of the chain of the Belt and Road initiative, the AfCFTA elevates the African nations to be the main actors of their future. It is obvious that a big part of the free trade between African nations will be maritime in nature as it is the cheapest, fastest and ecologically most sustainable form of trade. We are thus witnessing how our government is looking to the future and setting in motion all the moves that will allow Kenya to find itself in pole-position come 2030. In line with the goal of becoming a middle-income economy by then, the promotion of trade and the development of the necessary infrastructure, both physical and educational, are crucial for the success of these plans. So next time you’re taking a vacation on the beaches of Mombasa, be enchanted by the immensity of the sea, but don’t forget the immense opportunities for our future that it holds. Mr Temba is a communications consultant.
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