Developing Seafaring in Kenya as a Source of Employment Based on Case Study of the Philippines

  • Daniel K. Too
  • Christiaan A. Adenya


Going by the 2017 statistics, it is evident that unemployment rate in Kenya has increased to 11.47%from 10.00% in 1999. About 1.4 million Kenyans are actively looking for employment, while others have given up job hunting and have opted to pursue further studies instead. The unemployed includes jobless seafarers who are actively applying for international shipping jobs, though facing numerous challenges majorly being the recognition of their certificates by the shipping companies. Employment opportunities in the maritime sector are very promising and hence the challenges facing the unemployed seafarers have to be overcome. Considering the steps that the Government of Kenya has taken, it is gradually laying the much needed foundation towards exploiting the vast and rich blue economy. At the moment, there are about 80,000 ships in the World of 500 Deadweight tonnage (DWT) and above. These ships require more than 1.4 million workers most of whom majorly come from China, India and the Philippines. The steady growth in the number of the cargo ships has created is a high demand for skilled crew especially officers. There is therefore a pressing need for Kenya to take advantage of these opportunities and train officers to take up the employment opportunities available on the merchant ships and hence reduce the unemployment rates among the Kenyan youth. The Philippines claim the largest market share of maritime professionals. The Philippines has well-established agreements with various nations across the world. This has helped the Philippines government to reduce unemployment rates. In addition, shipping companies in the Philippines have also employed about 39,000 people. On the overall, all these have improved the country’s Gross domestic product (GDP). The purpose of this study is to demonstrate how Kenya can tap into the vast blue economy through training and deployment of seafarers to work as marine engineers, nautical officers and ratings in international ships, by looking at the model in the Philippines. This will reduce unemployment rates, improve the social-economic standards of Kenyans and consequently boost Kenya’s economy.
Oct 11, 2019
How to Cite
TOO, Daniel K.; ADENYA, Christiaan A.. Developing Seafaring in Kenya as a Source of Employment Based on Case Study of the Philippines. Proceedings of Sustainable Research and Innovation Conference, [S.l.], p. 261-265, oct. 2019. ISSN 2079-6226. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 06 july 2020.