H.E Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya and the Commander-in-Chief (CinC) of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) on Friday, 17th December 2021 commissioned the Mombasa Shipyard at the Kenya Navy Base (KNB), Mtongwe.
The C-in-C took a guided tour of the facility that culminated to him operating the Slipway where two maritime vessels were winched out of the water.
In his address the President lauded the collaboration between the KDF and all partners involved for their combined dedication, hard work and commitment which he said has opened up a new chapter in Kenya’s economic landscape.
The President said that the completion of Mombasa Shipyard heralds a new chapter in ship building and repair in Kenya.
“The shipyard will form a bedrock for the blue economy and will directly open up job opportunities to Kenyans and generate diverse investment avenues both locally and internationally,” said the President.
The Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Defence Hon Eugene Wamalwa said that ongoing key technical skills transfer will form a critical technical base in sustaining growth of the ship building industry in Kenya that support the Big 4 Agenda.
“The shipyards will unlock the business opportunity within the coastal region and the country as a whole. The facility will be available to service vessels for private, local and regional partners. This will create employment for our youth, generate income for the country and ensure safety of maritime vessels sailing in our waters,” said the Defence CS.
Chief of the Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi said that skill transfer is key in the shipbuilding industry. “We have currently trained close to 150 specialised teams in various areas including specialized welding which is critical in ship building.
He added that the mid-life refitting of the Kenya Navy Ship Shupavu at the facility will be a game changer as previous the refitting of Kenya Navy Ships was done in Spain or the Netherlands.
Present during the event were the former Prime Minister Rt Hon Raila Odinga, Attorney General Paul Kihara, Cabinet Secretaries, Mombasa County Governor Hassan Joho, Principal Secretaries, Service Commanders, serving and retired General Officers, Inspector General of Police, members of the Diplomatic Corps, KSL Board members, Senior Officers, Officers, Service Members and invited guests.