Japan donates patrol boats to improve Kenya's maritime security  

Mombasa – October 2, 2019

Kenya's efforts in the promotion of maritime security and the fight against terrorism got a major boost following the donation of 17 patrol boats by the Japanese Government to the Maritime Police.

Speaking at the Port of Mombasa on Wednesday during the handing over ceremony of the speed boats to the Maritime Police Unit, Japanese Ambassador to Kenya H.E Ryoichi Horie, reiterated his government's commitment to support Kenya's efforts towards strengthening anti-terrorism measures.

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Japan Ambassador to Kenya H.E Ryoichi Horie speaking  at the Port of Mombasa during the commissioning of the motorboats.

"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. In addition, Japan and Kenya have signed another grant worth 2.8 Million US Dollars for the purchase of more Patrol Boats," said Ambassador Horie.

The envoy said his government was aware of the Kenya Government's efforts in antiterrorism and strengthening coastal security even as it continued facing cyclic terrorist threats.

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KPA's Head of Corporate Development and Strategy Mr. Martin Mutuku (seated front row on the right) following proceedings of the meeting.

He said because of the warm cordial relations between the two nations of more than 50 years, Japan could not afford to ignore Kenya's problem.

"Three years ago, the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development was held in Nairobi for the first time outside Japan and it was a great success. At that time, we adopted the TICAD VI Nairobi Declaration which included the Clause that: We reaffirm our commitment to fight terrorism and violent extremism," the diplomat added.

He further said during the same meeting Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his idea for the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)" a concept he explained was derived from Japan's desire to preserve with various countries and people who shared the same views of the free and open seas.

Among the three pillars of the recently held TICAD 7 Conference on Japan's contributions for Africa in the Blue Economy, he said was to train at least 1000 people in three years in the areas of maritime security, port enhancement and marine resource management; support port facilities improvement, ports management and operations; provide ships and equipment for Africa region and participate in the Indian Ocean Commission as an observer.

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Some of the boats at a glance.

Ambassador Horie said this was an indication of Japan's commitment to boost Africa's efforts in attaining peace and stability.

"Last year, the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference was held in Nairobi at the Ministerial level to discuss how to harness the potential of water bodies and improve the lives of all while protecting these water resources," he said.

Deputy Inspector General Kenya Police Service Mr. Edward Mbugua thanked the Japanese Government for the donation terming it as an important milestone in the fight against terrorism. 

"We have had instances of piracy in the Indian Ocean and therefore the donation will assist us in dealing with pirates at the sea," he said.

Mr. Mbugua said the specialized police officers will put to full use the patrol boats to enforce laws within the maritime mandate noting that criminality in maritime sector was a bigger threat to commercial security.

KPA's Head of Corporate Development and Strategy Mr. Martin Mutuku who represented the Managing Director during the ceremony, said the maritime sector was growing very fast with the Government focusing mainly on the Blue Economy.

"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," said Mr. Mutuku.

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The cutting of the ribbon to signify the handing over ceremony of the patrol boats.

He highlighted some of the ongoing projects such as the construction of the Second Container Terminal and the upcoming development projects of Special Economic Zones at Dongo Kundu with the support of the Japanese Government.

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.

Earlier the Ambassador and his wife sang the "Amazing Grace" hymn to the attentive guests.