H.E Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta President of the Republic of Kenya and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces while on a tour of Nyanza region for Madaraka Day celebrations launched the Railway Training Institute’s Marine School Complex- Kisumu Campus.
“The construction of MV Uhuru II will demonstrate our commitment to identify, harness and grow the skills needed to build our economy,” said the Head of State.
The Railway Training Institute Marine School Complex- Kisumu Campus, a constituent campus of the Railway Training Institute, is a testimony of our commitment to realize and achieve the set goals and targets arising out of that conference. This Institute was established with the key mandate of being a premier marine education and training centre, and thereby being a key cog in the wheel of Kenya’s blue economy strategy.
On the same day, President Uhuru lauded the revival of MV Uhuru which had been grounded for 13 years but later rehabilitated by the Kenya Railways saying it shall stimulate economic growth in the lake region and promote job creation for the youth. The President who was accompanied by his counterpart Major General Evariste Ndayishimiye President of the Republic of Burundi flagged off Mv Uhuru ship on its 51st voyage where it transported crude oil to Port Bell in Kampala, Uganda. Since its refurbishment, Mv Uhuru has ferried about 50 million litres of fuel to Jinja in Uganda.
Mv Uhuru II
Both Heads of State took part in the keel laying of Mv Uhuru II. Keel laying of a ship is one of the most significant dates in the life of a ship as it marks the formal recognition of the start of the ship’s construction. Construction of Mv Uhuru II will run concurrently with phase two construction of the dry dock and slipway at the Kisumu shipyard.
President Uhuru noted the importance of constructing MV Uhuru II, the first ship to be built at the Kisumu Port for the last 70 years. Mv Uhuru II shall support her sister ship Mv Uhuru in facilitating cross border trade between Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and other Eastern Africa nations.
He also launched the Kenya Shipyard Limited (KSL), a state corporation under the Ministry of Defence by handing Brigadier Paul Otieno the Managing Director, Kenya Shipyards Limited operalisation instruments namely; the seal, the certificate of incorporation and KSL Flag.
The President also reopened the Sh3 billion refurbished port, injecting life into the economy of the lakeside city and the entire region. The revival of the port in Lake Victoria creates a multimodal system involving road, rail and water. It will see goods entering the East Africa region through the port of Mombasa, transported via the standard gauge railway to Naivasha, and carried onwards to Kisumu through the rehabilitated Meter Gauge Railway line. Fuel tankers and cargo vessels will then ferry the goods to Uganda and northern Tanzania – countries that share the Lake Victoria shoreline – and can be transported onwards via road and train to other countries in the region.
The Lake Victoria port network also includes Mwanza, Musoma, and Bukoba in Tanzania and Entebbe and Port Bell in Uganda.