About Kenya for IMO Council

Kenya joined the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 1973 and has remained an active participant and supporter of IMO activities. Kenya is currently an IMO Council Member under Category ‘C’, having first been elected in 2001 with subsequent re-elections to date. Her continuous re-election to the Council has provided a solid voice at the IMO for the Eastern Africa and the Great Lakes region, the Horn of Africa Region and the island states of the Western Indian Ocean.

Kenya has continued to be an active member of IMO and has to date ratified a total of 32 Conventions emanating from the Organization. Kenya’s willingness and resolve to tackle emerging global and regional challenges relating to shipping has earned the country global respect.

Kenya as a Maritime Nation

The Republic of Kenya has a land area of approximately 582,650 Km2, bordering the Indian Ocean and Somalia to the East, South Sudan and Ethiopia to the North, Uganda to the West and Tanzania to the South. The total ocean area is approximately 221,778 Km2, with an Exclusive Economic Zone stretching 350 nautical miles and strategic inland water bodies covering approximately 10,812 Km2.

Kenya holds special interests in maritime transport and navigation as a Coastal, Port and Flag State, and due to her strategic location along the East African Coast, the country is central to regional shipping. The Kenyan coastline lies along major maritime trading and tanker routes connecting Africa to Europe, the Far East and the Americas. The Port of Mombasa in Kenya remains the largest and most strategic gateway to the Eastern and Central Africa region.

Kenya's contribution to IMO

Commitment to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development & the Blue Economy

Kenya has taken the lead in supporting and implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aimed at fostering sustainable use of the blue economy domain.As one of the leaders of the Blue Economy Action Group under the Commonwealth Blue Charter Kenya encourages better stewardship of ‘blue’ resources.

Kenya is actively engaged in the implementation of “Ocean Decade”activities and has warmly accepted invitation to join the Ocean Decade Alliance as a Member.

Kenya for IMO Council

Contribution to Global Efforts in Reduction of Greenhouse Emission from Shipping

Climate change remains a key area of concern for the maritime community. Kenya has taken lead towards action to mitigateclimate change by among others:

  • hosting the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC) for Africa to support theInitial IMO Strategy on Reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions from Ships
  • taking part as a New Pilot Country in the IMO-Norway GreenVoyage2050, the new innovative project aimed to support implementation of the Initial IMO Strategy on Reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions from Ships.

Reduction of Marine litter

In 2018, Kenya banned the manufacture, importation, supply, distribution and use of non-woven poly-propylene bags in Kenya, towards the reduction of marine litter and the protection of the nation’s marine environment.

Kenya is also participating as a Lead Partnering Countryin the IMO-FAO-Norway GloLitter Partnerships Project, which anchors Kenya’s aspirations and obligations towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14.

Promotion of Maritime security

Maritime security remains a key component for safe maritime transport. Kenya continues to play a key role in securing the maritime domain within the Western Indian Ocean:

  • as a signatory to the Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCOC) and the Jeddah amendments
  • as current Chair of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia by ensuring collaboration in regional initiatives towards tackling other maritime crimes
  • the formation of a Kenya Coastguard Servicewhich hasfurther improved maritime surveillance and security as well as enhanced maritime law enforcement along the Kenyan coastline and territorial waters.

The Regional Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RMRCC)

Kenya hosts the Regional Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RMRCC) in Mombasa, covering on behalf of the international maritime community, the regions of Somalia, Kenya, United Republic of Tanzania and the Seychelles.

Maritime Trade Facilitation (FAL)

Kenya has established a Maritime Single Window Platform in line with the IMO FAL Convention to enhance electronic data interchange which is aimed at faster clearance of ship cargo, crew and passengers to improve the efficiency at the Port of Mombasa.

Kenya proposed and is championing a new output aimed at developing guidelines for the prevention and suppression of the smuggling of wildlife on ships engaged in international maritime traffic (FAL 44/18/1) which was considered and adopted as a Work Programme by the Facilitation Committee in its 44thSession.

Kenya has also championed development of a Port Community Charter to increase efficiency at the Port of Mombasa and reduce the cost of doing business for the realization of the full potential of the Port, which is a gateway to the Eastern and Central African region and beyond.

Maritime Education and Training (MET)

As a signatory to the International Convention on the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, (STCW 95), Kenya is listed on the IMO White List of countries implementing the Convention.

Kenya is geared up to contribute to the global shortage of seafarers. The Bandari Maritime Academyserves as a national center of excellence for the Region in maritime education and training, skills development, research and innovation.

Seafarers Welfare

As a signatory to the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), 2006., Kenya was the first country in Africa to ease the humanitarian crisis at sea by making Mombasa Port a crew change Centre during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Integration of Women in the Maritime Sector

In support of the IMO program for the integration of women in the maritime sector, Kenya continues to raise awareness on the importance of gender equality in the maritime and shipping sector in line with SDG 5.

Integration of Women in the Maritime Sector

Kenya in the Region

Kenya plays a crucial role in the Eastern and Central African maritime sector and maritime trade, by hosting in Mombasa, the secretariats of the following three sub-regional organizations that are very active in dealing with maritime issues:

  1. Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA)
  2. Intergovernmental Standing Committee on Shipping (ISCOS)
  3. Northern Transit Transport Co-ordinating Authority (NTTCA)

Kenya is an active member of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), an organization aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean Region.

Kenya and the Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA)

Kenya is also an active member of the Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA) which plays a critical role in pursuing common interests in the African maritime sector in the spirit of Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIM Strategy) and Agenda 2063 on maritime safety, security, infrastructure, management and sustainable resource utilization which provides a good platform for the continent to progress its ambitions to develop the blue economy.

Kenya and the Indian Ocean Memorandum of Understanding (IOMOU)

Kenya remains a committed and active member of the Indian Ocean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (IOMOU)towards enhancing port state control measures in the Western Indian Ocean Region.