Bandari Maritime Academy (BMA) has developed 12 curricula on employable skills for the maritime sector out of a target of 33 courses it plans to offer. Since the academy was granted autonomy from the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in 2019, it has trained over 398 students in the modular courses and over 2000 participants in the short courses.
The government, through Legal Notice No. 233 of 28th November 2018, transformed Bandari College into Bandari Maritime Academy, a Regional Maritime Centre of Excellence for skills development for the Blue Economy- the next frontier for the economic development of our country.
Francis Muraya, the acting director of BMA, in a presentation made during the celebration of the international day of seafarers held on Friday last week, said that the institute has the potential to create 52,000 jobs in the maritime sector in the next 10 years.
The academy has developed a driving school for cargo handling and efficient port operations. Other critical projects that are currently underway include the establishment of ICT infrastructure for learning and establishment of a ship in campus.
The academy has already established a five years strategic plan with a BMA Bill and development of a master plan already underway.
Development of the curriculum for the other courses is also underway, together with the acquisition of the training equipment with the help of the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA)
The academy is working with the other training institutions that include colleges, universities and shipping lines to enhance skills in the sector. Last year, KMA inked a deal with Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) for assisting students enrolling for maritime based courses.
The industry is currently struggling with a shortage of personnel because of the prohibitive costs of training abroad, which has made many students shun careers in the industry. One of the major challenges facing the maritime sector is lack of training personnel with MBA largely relying on part-time tutors.
Selection of students for BMA will also be done by Universities and Colleges Placement Service. The facility has an annual capacity of admitting about 2,000 students.
The government identified the urgent need to build human resource capacity in such areas as; seafaring, port operations, ship operations; commercial and maritime law, shipbuilding and repair, maritime training, certification and employment of seafarers.