The Kenya National Shipping Line (KNSL) which has been dormant for decades is set for revival, State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu has revealed.
KNLS is the only national carrier of the Kenya Government whose shareholders include the government through Kenya Ports Authority (KPA); foreign investors DEG; UNIMAR; and strategic partner Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) through Heywood Shipping Company Limited.
The shipping line which has the potential to contribute $3 billion into the country’s economy annually is expected to create an average 3, 000 jobs for Kenyan youth in its first year, a number that will progressively increase to 6, 000 in five years.
It is also expected to return Kenya to its position of a seafaring nation of historical repute.The direct shipping business also offers Agency services to special cargo of chartered vessels docking in Kenya’s port city of Mombasa.
The ownership of the KNLS will be restructured by the State Department of Maritime and Shipping Affairs through its Blue Economy Committee.
“Negotiations are at an advanced stage for the exit of foreign shareholders who have expressed desire to cease working with KNLS, due to KNSL having become a parastatal”, Esipisu said.
The revival is part of the government’s wider plan to boost the economy
of the Coast region which includes among others the implementation of the Mzima II Water Project to address the water shortage in the region; the construction of the Lamu Port which is the anchor of the LAPSSET corridor project; and refurbishment and expansion of Kenya Ferry Services.