Fifty students are expected to join the Technical University of Mombasa for diploma courses on marine engineering and nautical science later this year as African governments and maritime authorities step up efforts to work together to boost the maritime labour market.
The university is one of two, along with three colleges, that offer maritime courses in Kenya.
Several countries have taken concrete steps to not only implement a continental approach to the African maritime industry agenda, as captured in the African Maritime Transport Charter, but also effectively liaise with globally-recognised maritime organisations.
The ‘Priority Program 2012-2013’ – launched recently by the African division of the IMO – will focus on human resource ‘capacity building’ on the African continent.
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This programme, together with other maritime labour projects, currently run by the Ghana Maritime Authorities, Kenya, and Nigeria Maritime Authorities and South African Council of Ship Owners, are taking steps forward in making Africa a new continent for seafarers.
Those organisations aim at taking concrete measures to tackle the lack of qualifying educational institutions, low educational standards, improving the safety procedures to protect the crew from political instability, and other threats such as piracy in Somalia and the Gulf of Guinea.