23rd January 2004

Maritime Education: Kenya

Maritime Education in Kenya is both fragmented and scarce leading to its inadequacy to serve national maritime goals.

In addition to that there is no cohesive maritime education policy.

This has led to the lack of institutionalization of maritime education in the sphere of both academic and the professional cadres.

This has also led to little research being undertaken in maritime affairs.

The maritime education available is conducted at Bandari College in Mombasa, faculties of law University of Nairobi and Moi University.

Although Bandari College offers maritime education but, it is predominantly maritime commerce related with the basic aim of supporting the Kenya Ports Authority needs.

The areas of maritime safety, security, environment, administration and management as well as mandatory Standards of Training and Certification in watch keeping for seafarers are not available.

Bandari College lacks the requisite academic validation as a national examination and certification institute.

Bandari College also lacks the capacity to train and certify S T C W curriculum in keeping with IMO regulations.

A part from Bandari College, the maritime education conducted in the University of Nairobi (UoN) and Moi University lack focus on the maritime sector.

A few maritime courses are taught as part of the law degree program. As a result, specialization is lacking. For example, no post-graduate degree in
maritime law is available in the country in contrast to African maritime nations such as Mauritius, Egypt, South Africa.

Areas such as maritime security, maritime environment protection, conservation, efficiency in use of seas and inland waters, marine engineering, nautical studies etc are not covered either at the academic or the professional levels.

Compounding the lack of maritime education is the lack of research and development activities in the maritime sector.

In order to transform Kenya into a world class maritime nation there is a need of establishing maritime educational board and to:

  • Upgrade Bandari College to a University;


  • Develop a national maritime education curriculum in collaboration with Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) and the Kenya National Examination Council;


  • Domesticate STCW 95 convention;


  • Develop public education and awareness program;


  • Promote the creation of maritime professional organizations/research institute; and above all establish a Maritime Authority.

Andrew Mwangura

Organizing Secretary
Seafarers Union of Kenya