Fatuma Achani, the Deputy Governor (DG) of Kwale County, has encouraged youth to enrol in maritime courses in order to benefit from the upcoming Blue Economy sector.
The National Government has already identified several major projects that will investigate a sector that has been underutilized for decades.
The government has prioritized the construction of the Sh2.6 billion Shimoni Fishing Port in Lunga Lung Sub-county and the Sh1.2 billion Regional Maritime Center of Excellence in Kombani, Matuga Sub-county.The National Government, through the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), is expected to start work on the multibillion-dollar project in April.
In an interview with the press, the Deputy Governor stated that young people in the county should enroll in short-term maritime courses to break the cycle of unemployment.
“Both the National and County governments has invested a lot of resources to actualize the exploitation of the Blue Economy sector and it’s upon the youth to think strategically and seek special skills on marine management to secure jobs,” Achani said, adding that the County government will fund youth pursuing courses in the sector.
She revealed that the County will use the bursary fund created by the ‘Elimu ni Sasa’ initiative to support at least 120 students interested in blue economy studies.The proposed fishing port, according to Achani, will be a pioneer fishing harbour in the coastal county and will have a positive impact on trade and economic growth in the region.
The proposed industrial port infrastructure will include a multipurpose berth with fish and conventional cargo handling and cold storage facilities, as well as a fish processing plant, providing residents with job opportunities.
Achani also stated that the County Government has allocated sufficient resources to improve education standards in the county.
She stated that the County Government has increased bursary allocation to secondary school students, as well as those in tertiary institutions and universities.
“All students in secondary schools are allocated close to Sh 8,000 while those in universities and colleges get close to Sh 15,000. All these procedures are to empower the youth and once you enroll in these courses you will also benefit,” she said.
Since the establishment of the devolved unit in 2013, the Kwale County government has set aside Sh400 million per year for education empowerment activities.
The Elimu ni Sasa initiative, which has provided full scholarships to over 3,000 students in national schools and over 5,000 students in universities, is one of the Administration’s priority education empowerment programs.
The County Government has spearheaded the construction of over 500 Early Childhood Development Centres (ECD) across the four Sub-counties of Matuga, Msambweni, Lunga Lunga and Kinango.
Achani stated that the only way to reduce the County’s unemployment rate is through skill-based training, which is required in today’s labor market.
The Deputy Governor also urged the youth to seek training at Vocational Training Colleges (VTC) located throughout the county in order to gain necessary skills for employment.
Achani stated that the government has built at least two VTC centers in each Sub-County to empower the youth.