Kenya mulls incentives to expand shipbuilding industry
28 September 2016, 17:40
Nairobi (Xinhua) -- Kenya is considering a raft incentives in order to expand its shipbuilding industry, officials said on Tuesday.
Principal Secretary of Shipping and Maritime Affairs in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Nancy Karigithu told a media briefing in Nairobi that Kenya currently has a small shipbuilding industry that serves the East Africa region.
"In order to expand the nascent industry, we are assessing the best incentives that will enable the shipbuilding to reach its full potential," Karigithu said.
Karigithu added that over 90 percent of Kenya's international trade is carried out by ships. "This shows that there is adequate demand for ships that can be used to carry Kenyan cargo," she said.
The PS said that shipbuilding is ideal for Kenya because it is labor intensive. "This means that it will provide jobs for thousands of youth especially in the coastal towns," he said.
The incentives will be part of the Integrated National Maritime Policy that will be in place in the next three months.
"The policy ensures that maritime issues are integrated into the national development agenda due to its significance to international trade," Karigithu said.
Kenya's shipbuilding industry is one of the strategies for the country to develop a blue economy.
The East African nation is currently undertaking projects to expand its main port of Mombasa so that it handles bigger ships.
"Part of the civil works will also enhance Kenya's capacity to build and repair ships that pass by the country's ports," the PS said.