President Uhuru Kenyatta has outlined the policies and strategies his government will take and have already done to harness and promote the blue economy in Kenya. Speaking at the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference that has brought together leaders from Africa and beyond at the KICC, President Kenyatta said there is a need to harness the blue economy to re-energize economies and create greater job opportunities, and that issues affecting the water bodies including plastic pollution and unsustainable fishing that threatens endangered fishing must be dealt with.
He said Kenya will lead from the front in addressing issues surrounding the blue economy. “First, as a government, we will take steps to build on and expand institutional governance mechanisms that are already in place to enhance coordinated management of the blue economy,” he stated. He said the government is taking measures to revive maritime transport, by building and expanding ports and fishing facilities and partnering with global shipping lines to improve maritime reach. He further said they’ve adopted a programme to accelerate the development of fisheries by increasing aquaculture, fish processing and storage capacities and related blue economy industries.
The President said the state is also enhancing the capabilities of Kenya sea farers to work on ships across vast oceans, among others by upgrading the Kenya Maritime School. Given that plastic pollution is one of the main problems facing water bodies, the Presidet said steps have already been taken to address this, “In 2017, we banned the use of single use plastics as part of our commitment to sustainable development.” He added that they are also tackling illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing and measures have been taken to enhance the security and safety of the waters, evidenced by the launch of the Kenya Coast Guard.
A housing programme has also been adopted, which seeks to provide decent and affordable housing along the Coastal cities as part of the programme for the greening of Kenya’s cities, coupled with further redeveloping of lake-front cities and towns to release their full tourism and industrial potential. “I, therefore, invite all of you to work with me, my government and the people of Kenya and with other governments on the continent of Africa to build these key areas that I have highlighted today,” said President Kenyatta.