Influence of maritime security on exploitation of blue economy resources along Kenya’s coastal region
Njue, Njiru Sammy
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Maritime security, which involves efforts related to ensuring that legal human activities taking place in marine environments are carried out without any form of illegal interference and destruction to the environment, is critical for the success of all sectors and industries of a country’s economy including the blue economy. This implies that for countries turning to blue economy as an additional avenue to boost their economies, investing in the security of their marine resources is a mandatory undertaking and one in which adequate security resources must be dedicated to. Kenya being one of these countries, and a developing one for that matter, and with little studies conducted on the subject matter in this country, this research study is of necessity. The objectives of this study were; to analyze the role of maritime defence on exploitation of Kenya’s blue economy resources, to assess the effects of maritime safety on exploitation of Kenya’s blue economy resources and to examine the influence of maritime governance on exploitation of Kenya’s blue economy resources. The findings of this study are expected to be of significance to various government ministries in Kenya that are charged with the responsibility of ensuring security of the countries territories as well as those ministries under which trade and economic performance of the country falls. Private stakeholders who activities relate to security and economic performance are also expected to find the outcomes of this study to be of use to them. The study’s scope was limited to Kenya’s coastal region with a specific focus on Mombasa County. Securitization Theory guided the study. Descriptive research design was employed with the survey approach being taken. The survey targeted the apposite personnel in Kenya’s relevant State Departments, relevant Mombasa County government ministries and the general adult populace of Mombasa County. A mix of probability and non-probability sampling methods were used to select 384 survey participants who were engaged in this study. Questionnaires and interview schedules were used to collect data from the field. For data analysis, SPSS Version 20 was used. Frequency distribution and percentages were used to analyze the quantitative data while narrative analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data to transform the data into useful information. The findings showed that each of the three facets of maritime security covered in this study; maritime defence, maritime safety and maritime governance are quite essential in ensuring that the country’s blue economy resources are harnessed in a responsible and sustainable manner in order to achieve desirable growth and performance of the blue economy and indeed the country’s grander economy. However, there is still more that needs to be done to ensure that the exploitation of the blue economy is beneficial to the nation as indicated in the findings of the study which have shown that effectiveness of the measures that have so far been put in place to uphold the security of the country’s territorial waters have not met the expectations of the residents of Mombasa County as well as the representatives of the national and county governments involved in this study. Fundamentally, prosperity of the country’s coastal and maritime tourism, commercial fishing and marine transportation and other blue economy resources rely heavily on effective maritime security. In conclusion, each of the three facets of maritime security; maritime defence, maritime safety and maritime governance are important in exploitation of blue economy resources in Kenya.
Africa Nazarene University