The Japanese Government donated 17 patrol boats to Kenya’s Maritime Police, boosting the country’s efforts in the promotion of maritime security and the fight against terrorism. The Japanese Ambassador to Kenya further noted that Japan could not afford to ignore Kenya’s problem, due to the warm cordial relations between the two nations of more than 50 years.
During the handing over ceremony of the speed boats to the Maritime Police Unit, at the Port of Mombasa, the Japanese Ambassador to Kenya, H.E Ryoichi Horie, stated that
In order to support Kenya’s efforts in strengthening coastal security and anti-terrorism measures, Japan is today handing over 17 Japanese made boats worth about 2.8 Million US Dollars to the Maritime Police Unit as a grant to the Republic of Kenya. Japan and Kenya have signed another grant worth 2.8 Million US Dollars for the purchase of more Patrol Boats.
Ambassador Horie added that three years after the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development, Japan adopted the TICAD VI Nairobi Declaration which included boosting their commitment to fight terrorism and violent extremism.
Namely, among the three pillars of the recently held TICAD 7 Conference on Japan’s contributions for Africa in the Blue Economy, it was announced that at least 1,000 people are to be trained in a course of three years in the areas of maritime security, port enhancement and marine resource management; port facilities, management and operations will all be supported and improved; ships and equipment will be supplied to the African region as well as the participation in the Indian Ocean Commission as an observer.
Ambassador Horie said this move is an indication of Japan’s commitment to boost Africa’s efforts in attaining peace and stability.
Moreover, the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, has also announced his vision for a”Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)” a concept which derives from Japan’s desire to preserve with various countries and people who share the same views of the free and open seas.
On his part, Mr. Edward Mbugua, Deputy Inspector General Kenya Police Service thanked the Japanese Government for the donation terming it as an important milestone in the fight against terrorism.
Mr. Martin Mutuku, KPA’s Head of Corporate Development and Strategy, representing the Managing Director during the ceremony, noted that the maritime sector was growing very fast with the Government focusing mainly on the Blue Economy. He added, “for it to succeed security is key and therefore we at KPA really appreciate the support of Japanese Government which will enable us to revamp it.”
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After the official handing over ceremony, Deputy Inspector General Mr. Edward Mbugua, KPA’s Head of Corporate Development and Strategy Mr. Martin Mutuku and other guests including Commandant Maritime Police Unit Mr. Richard Ngeno, Regional Police Commander Mr. Rashid Yakubu, KPA’s General Manager Human Resources and Administration Mr. Daniel Ogutu and KPA’s Head of Marine Operations Captain Moses Muthama joined the Japanese Ambassador for the boat ride.
Last November, Kenya conducted a combined exercise with EU NAVFOR Italian Warship Federico Martinengo at the Port of Mombasa, as part of the EU NAVFOR’s Operation Atalanta, which aims to tackle piracy and other maritime-related crime.
Concluding, in efforts of tackling piracy related accidents, from January 2020, Kenya has been chosen to chair the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) for two years, coordinating regional and international efforts dealing with piracy.