Shipping campus simulator under construction at Bandari Academy

Written By: Christine Muchira
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BANDARI MARITIME ACADEMY

Construction works for a maritime simulation centre is underway at the Bandari Maritime Academy in Mombasa County.

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The simulator will enable students to simulate life at sea while on land, providing them with an opportunity to gain practical training on the maritime sector in line with the International Maritime Organisation – IMO minimum requirements.

IMO requires that students acquire theoretical knowledge as well as a minimum period of hands-on experience on the sea.

According to Shipping and Maritime Principal Secretary Nancy Karigithu, IMO has set requisite standards for training including teachers as well as relevant equipment.

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Karigithu says the academy was partnering with the Kenya Ferry Services and St Johns Ambulance for basic safety skills and are also exploring partnerships with firefighting and safety organisations for training purposes.

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The Bandari Maritime Academy, according to the PS, is in the process of establishing a health department that will make it easier for seafarers to acquire vaccination certificates.

While appreciating President Uhuru Kenyatta´s interest in the maritime sector, Karigithu said the government remains keen on reviving the shipbuilding industry in Kenya even as she encouraged the private sector to set up ship building and repair plants in the country.

Maritime single window system

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Due to travel restrictions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, the state department for maritime and shipping has adopted technology through digitization of shipping operations with a single window system set to be rolled out next year.

The system is aimed at streamlining cross-border trade and logistics chain to facilitate global sea trade.

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The system is a mandatory requirement for national governments who are required to introduce electronic information exchange between ships and ports, a requirement which came into effect from 8 April 2019. This is aimed at making cross-border trade simpler and the logistics chain more efficient, for the more than 10 billion tons of goods which are traded through the sea each year.

The requirement, under International Maritime Convention’s (IMO’s) Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention), is part of a package of amendments under the revised Annex to the FAL Convention, adopted in 2016.

Karigithu says the government has already signed an agreement with the Mediterranean Shipping Company for the training of Kenyan seafarers, an undertaking that was severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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