By Benson Rioba
Kenyans have been urged to invest more in the lucrative marine sector as the blue economy starts gaining ground in the country.
Marine and Shipping Principal Secretary Nancy Karigithu says the government plans to open up opportunities in the marine sector for Kenyans to tap among others the over 300 billion shillings the country spends annually on marine transport.
The Indian Ocean has been the central nerve of Kenya’s trade being the main gateway of imports and exports. Alongside tourism, the Port of Mombasa has been a key facility for revenue generation for Kenya through customs.
Apart from shipping, marine experts want Kenyans to tap Indian Ocean resources that run into billions of shillings.
Currently, most investments are concentrated on the port and tourism despite the wide range of available opportunities.
The government plans to increase investments in facilitating marine transport to boost trade as well as reduce the cost of transport for shippers.
The key challenge for most investors eyeing the blue economy has been heavy start-up capital.
The directive that importers insure their cargo with local underwriters has been hailed as one that will drive growth in the insurance sector.
Capacity building for marine sector personnel has been identified as being key to the growth of the blue economy going forward.