Karigithu selection a boost to maritime, say stakeholders

Shipping and Maritime Affairs Principal Secretary Nancy Karigithu [James Wanzala, Standard]

Stakeholders in the maritime sector are upbeat that the appointment of Shipping and Maritime Affairs Principal Secretary Nancy Karigithu as an ambassador and special envoy for Maritime and Blue Economy will put Kenya on the global map.

They argued that Dr Karigithu was competent enough to champion the country's agenda on maritime and shipping at the global stage having served as Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) director-general for nine years.

She was named a diplomat alongside 24 new ambassadors and high commissioners by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Chairperson of the Association for Women in the Maritime Sector in Eastern and Southern Africa (Womesa), Kenya chapter, Fiona Mbandi, noted that the appointment comes ahead of the first International Maritime Women Day to be marked on May 18.

Kenya will celebrate the day in Kisumu.

"Dr Karigithu was founder and serves as patron of Womesa," said Ms Mbandi.

"We continue to recognise Karigithu's tremendous efforts and special place for the maritime community thus earning her title Mama Maritime. We wish her fair seas and calmer waters as she embarks in her global career."

Former Seafarers Union of Kenya general secretary, Andrew Mwangura, said Dr Karigithu's new role elevates Kenya's quest to be among the best maritime nations in the world.

The Maritime Wages Council Chairman Mwinyi Jahazi said Kenya has ratified many significant international maritime conventions through Dr Karigithu's contributions, with the latest being the fisheries convention.

"She has remained steadfast and dedicated to ensure that Kenya gets a place in the maritime world map," said Mr Mwinyi.