The global shipping industry has removed Kenya maritime waters within the Indian Ocean from the piracy red list, 12 years after it was announced a high-risk area (HRA).
The recent development will save Kenya and East Africa millions of shillings in insurance and other security expenses, and could open up Kenya’s ports for more business.
The decision was communicated to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the United Nations (UN) agency responsible for improving the safety and security of global shipping on Wednesday.
This came as a result of a heightened campaign by Kenya to end labelling of Kenyan waters as high risk, which made shipping prohibitively expensive and threatened the nascent blue economy.
Kenyan maritime waters were designated as high-risk area in 2009 by BMP-5, which comprise five largest global shipping industry associations — International Association of Dry Cargo Ship Owners, International Association of Independent Tank Owners, International Chamber of Shipping, Oil Companies International Marine Forum and Baltic and International Maritime Council.
However, increased surveillance and joint maritime patrols by the Kenya Coast Guard Services and the Kenya Navy within the Kenyan maritime waters have resulted in significant reduction in piracy incidents, with no piracy incidents recorded since 2017.