The Kenyan government on Wednesday reiterated its commitment to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) programs to improve safety of shipping, despite a drop in piracy in the Indian Ocean as a result of navy patrols.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure Engineer Michael Kamau said in a statement issued in Nairobi that the government is planning to raise the profile and contribution of the maritime sector in Kenya.
“Kenya has put emphasis on the development of facilities at the port of Mombasa including the upcoming port of Lamu, South Sudan, Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET) in order to facilitate trade and boost the growth of regional economies,” Kamau said when he held talks with to IMO Secretary General Koji Sekimizu.
The two held consultations on the sidelines of the ongoing 28th IMO general assembly in London.
Kamau who is leading the Kenya delegation to the IMO general assembly told Sekimizu that Kenya will seek technical assistance from the IMO to develop an integrated maritime policy and drafting of the necessary legal instruments for domestication of IMO Conventions.
Kenya is one of African countries affected by piracy that has raised the costs of shipping as insurance companies and private ship security companies increased their premiums to mitigate the risks.
The drop in piracy incidents is however a relief to shipping companies using the Indian Ocean that have been the target of pirates. Victims often have to pay heavy ransoms to secure release of their vehicles and the crew.