President of the Republic of Kenya has urged County Governments within the Lake Victoria Basin to take advantage of the economic opportunities presented by the shipbuilding industry to unlock their economic potential.
he President of the Republic of Kenya and Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces, Dr. William Samoei Ruto, also officiated the commissioning and maiden launch of MV Uhuru II at the Kenya Shipyards Limited (KSL) in Kisumu. MV Uhuru II was constructed out of the high demand for freight services within the lake region and to augment MV Uhuru I to meet the rising demand.
MV Uhuru II is capable of transporting 1,063 tonnes of cargo and is optimized for transportation of petroleum oil products as well as bulk dry cargo such as cereals, fertilizers, sugar and seeds.
The vessel is fitted with modern and efficient engines and has a cruising speed of 14 knots. Compared to MV Uhuru I, the sailing time to Jinja from Kisumu is estimated to have been reduced by 4 hours.
Construction of MV Uhuru II was completed within a period of 24 months, 12 months ahead of the normal 36 that it ordinarily takes to complete a project of such scale.
This has led to the realization of savings on production costs and acquisition of critical skills in shipbuilding by KSL personnel through internship programs and hands-on job training.
MV Uhuru II before us is not only a means of transportation, but also a catalyst for economic growth and development in our region. It will facilitate trade, create jobs, and open up opportunities for businesses to thrive. There exist enormous business prospects in the construction, repair and maintenance of maritime vessels in the region and I urge KSL to go for those opportunities
… noted the President
In his address, the Commander in Chief also noted that the occasion represented a key milestone in the shipbuilding industry in Kenya and the Eastern Africa region. He further underscored Kenya Shipyards’ ability to build, repair and maintain ships locally and regionally as not only a reflection of the nation’s commitment to harnessing available resources and talents to meet both local and regional demand for quality maritime services, but also an exemplification of the spirit of self-reliance and regional cooperation.