Kenya has up to date ratified a total of 27 Conventions emanating from the IMO and maintained a strong association with the Organization as an active participant in all its meetings of the Assembly, Council and the five Committees.Kenya’s strategic geo-location along the East African coast and eminent profile among the community of nations has defined her position and role at IMO. The country’s willingness and resolve to tackle current-day global and regional challenges related to shipping have earned the country international respect.
Military operations by Kenyan troops in Somalia, especially in and around Kismayu – previously the bedrock of Somali piracy – are directly linked to the near-eradication of piracy in the Indian Ocean. As a result, global shipping has been saved billions of dollars from the reduction in insurance premiums that had seen astronomical hikes at the height of the piracy scourge between 2005 and2012. Ship-owners have also been saved from the heavy cost incurred on ship board counter-piracy measures.
Following the Consultative Meeting on Acts of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Vessels that was convened by the Government of Kenya in Nairobi inNovember 2008 High-Level International Conference on Piracy was hosted byKenya in December 2008.The country thereafter offered its national courts for the prosecution of suspected pirates leading as a result of which a total of one hundred and seventy three pirates have since been convicted to serve their jail terms in Kenyan prisons.
Kenya takes its role in IMO very seriously and has ratified many of theConventions emanating from the Organisation. A major and comprehensive review of its maritime legislation resulted in the enactment of a new MerchantShipping Act in 2009, taking on board all the conventions that Kenya has ratified. In April 2015, Kenya ratified Nairobi International Convention on theRemoval of Wrecks. Kenya ratified the Nairobi International Convention on theRemoval of Wrecks by handing over the instrument of ratification to IMOSecretary-General on the day the Convention entered into force internationally (14 April, 2015). The Convention will enter into force forKenya in three months’ time. This was a great achievement as the convention was initiated in Nairobi during the diplomatic conference of 2007.
IMO has regional presence offices located in Nairobi (Kenya) based on Memoranda of Understanding signed between IMO and the host Governments.The regional coordinator plays an important role in the management and execution of the Integrated Technical Co-operation Programmes (ITCP). It also works closely with national, regional institutions/organizations and RegionalEconomic Commissions (RECs). Since the launch of the IMO RegionalPresence Offices in Africa, in 1999, the delivery of technical support to Africa has increased.
Kenya has been admitted to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)white list. This means that Kenya is in full compliance with the InternationalConvention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping of Seafarers (STCW). By entering the Whitelist, the country can train seafarers who can work in foreign going vessels and that maritime certificates and other endorsements from Kenya will be recognised all over the world.There is a serious manpower shortage of seafarers worldwide with the international market currently facing an acute shortage. The white listing provides an opportunity of creating massive employment for the youth Kenya.