The Japanese Government has donated 17 patrol boats to the Kenyan Maritime Police to help in improving maritime security and the fight against terrorism in East Africa.
The 17 patrol boats were handed over to the Maritime Police at the Port of Mombasa by the Japanese Ambassador to Kenya Ryoichi Horie on 2 October.
During the handover ceremony, Ambassador Horie, reiterated his government’s commitment to support Kenya’s efforts towards strengthening anti-terrorism measures.
“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 to the Maritime Police Unit as a grant to the Republic of Kenya. In addition, Japan and Kenya have signed another grant worth $2.8 million for the purchase of more patrol boats,” Horie said.
Ambassador also Horie noted that this was an indication of Japan’s commitment to boost Africa’s efforts in attaining peace and stability.
In the recent Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7), held in Yokohama, on 28th – 30th of August, 2019. One of the major point was to train at least 1,000 people in three years in the areas of maritime security, port enhancement, and marine resource management; supporting port facilities improvement, ports management, and operations; providing ships and equipment for the region; and participating in the Indian Ocean Commission as an observer.
Kenya has an expansive coastal ocean line of 536 Km in length, and the Port of Mombasa is the maritime gateway for the region’s imports.
Ninety per cent of trade transacted in Africa passes through the Indian Ocean with Kenyan transacting about 92 per cent of its trade through the Indian Ocean,” said a 2017 report by the International Peace Support Training Centre Nairobi, titled An Assessment of Maritime Insecurity in the Kenya Maritime Domain’.
The donated boats comprise of two 12 metre boats with twin inboard engines; five 8 metre boats with outboard engines and ten 6 metre boats with outboard engines.
To safeguard its blue water economy, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta officially launched the Kenya Coast Guard Service (KCGS) on December 2018.
During that ceremony, President Kenyatta also commissioned the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) Doria.
Few months back, the United States donated six units of Metal Shark patrol boats to the Kenyan Navy on 27th February 2017, bringing the total number to 10.