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Kenya Maritime Authority Overview

Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) was set up in June 2004 as the semi-autonomous agency in charge of regulatory oversight over the Kenyan maritime industry. Maritime safety and security is one of the Authority’s core functions.

As the pacesetter of the Kenyan maritime industry, KMA thus strives to strengthen national maritime administration through enhancement of regulatory and institutional capacities for safety and security, fostering effective implementation of international maritime conventions and other mandatory instruments on safety & security, promoting maritime training, coordinating Search and Rescue, preventing marine pollution and promoting preservation of the marine environment as well as promoting trade facilitation and maritime investments.

The enactment of a new Merchant Shipping Act, 2009 has enhanced delivery of services by the Authority in these areas.

Foreign Ships calling at the port of Mombasa, Kenya are inspected by KMA ship surveyors in accordance with (IOMOU) Indian Ocean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control to which Kenya is a member. This is to ensure that ships comply with safety of life and safe manning regulations, protection of the marine environment regulations and load line regulations, among others. As part of our core mandate Kenya Maritime Authority is responsible for the operation of the Regional Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RMRCC), now also known as the Mombasa Information Sharing Centre(ICS). The Centre provides a communication center where seafarers can call in for help in cases of distress while at sea, in a large area covering Tanzania, Seychelles and Somalia as well as receiving and responding to piracy alerts and requests for information or assistance at all times. Kenya Maritime Authority has been in the lead in promoting maritime training and education in Kenya. Kenya’s recent entry into the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) White list status was an affirmation that Kenya’s maritime education now meets international standards, enabling its seafarers to compete for jobs on international ships. As the pacesetters of the Kenyan maritime industry and in solidarity with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) ‘Go to sea campaign’, the Authority has intensified its focus on boosting the image of the maritime industry and supporting cadet recruitment among the youth, including the recruitment of female cadets.The Authority is further committed to implementing International Maritime Organization(IMO) programs aimed at the integration of women in the maritime sector in answer to Millennium Development Goal number three, “ Promoting gender equality and empowerment of women” in the maritime sector. In this regard, KMA hosts the Association of Women in the Maritime Sector in East and Southern Africa (WOMESA), which aims at mainstreaming the role of women in the maritime sector.

By regulating and overseeing orderly development of merchant shipping and related services, the Authority aims to make a positive impact on trade facilitation in Kenya and in the promotion of maritime investments in the country.

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