Concerted Efforts to Harness Blue Economy for Sustainable Development

Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi (right) interacts with the PS Shadrack Mwadime

Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi paid a courtesy call to Mr. Shadrack Mwadime, the Principal Secretary, State Department for Shipping and Maritime, where they engaged in fruitful discussions on the importance of leveraging the blue economy through research for sustainable development.

During the meeting, Mr. Mwadime reaffirmed the government’s unwavering commitment to the blue economy and expressed the need to exploit available resources for economic prosperity.

“Our aim is to harness the vast potential of the ocean and its resources to drive economic growth, create employment opportunities, and improve the overall well-being of our nation,” attested Mr. Mwadime.

He further said, by engaging in research, particularly through collaborations with research institutions like JKUAT, the government can gather valuable insights, scientific knowledge and innovative solutions to address the challenges and opportunities associated with the blue economy.

Prof. Ngumi assured Mr. Mwadime that JKUAT is at the forefront of advancing the Kenyan maritime sector.

Roundtable discussion between JKUAT and the State Department for Shipping and Maritime

“Through our research capabilities, academic expertise and collaborations, the University is actively involved in driving innovation, providing policy recommendations and equipping the workforce with the necessary skills for a sustainable blue economy,” affirmed Prof. Ngumi.

In addition to offering Marine Engineering program, the Vice Chancellor highlighted JKUAT’s notable contributions to the maritime sector, citing two significant initiatives. The first one is the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre-Africa, domiciled at JKUAT. The center serves as a hub for research, capacity building, and knowledge exchange in maritime technology, with the ultimate goal of fostering sustainable practices within the industry.

The second initiative was the Lake Region Blue Economy project which focuses on harnessing the potential of the blue economy specifically in the lake region of Kenya. The initiative aims to promote sustainable practices, support local communities, and create economic opportunities by leveraging the resources and potential of the lakes in the region.

During their discussions, Prof. Ngumi and Mr. Mwadime acknowledged a pressing concern regarding sea board training for marine engineering graduates. They pledged to collaborate closely and explore viable solutions, including the possibility of acquiring a vessel, to ensure graduates receive the necessary sea board training for certification purposes.

Mr. Mwadime challenged JKUAT to develop a conversion program targeting mechanical, mechatronic, and electrical engineers. The program would produce graduate engineers and electro-technical officers equipped with the requisite skills and knowledge to thrive in the maritime sector.

The Vice Chancellor was accompanied by her Deputy Vice Chancellors; Prof. Robert Kinyua, Prof. Bernard Ikua and Prof. Jackson Kwanza, Principal, College of Engineering and Technology, Dr. Hiram Ndiritu, MTCC Head, Ms. Lydia Ngugi and Chair of Department, Marine Engineering and Maritime Operations, Dr. Jotham Munyalo among others.

Concerted efforts to harness blue economy for sustainable development

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