Mombasa Port, 18 December 2019: the EU CRIMARIO project, implemented by Expertise France, handed over a coastal AIS Network to Kenya under the authority of the JOC (Joint Operations Centre) in the port of Mombasa.
The transfer of ownership was officially completed during a ceremony chaired by the Principal Secretary of State Department for Shipping and Maritime Affairs, Mrs Nancy Karigithu, with the official signature of the transfer of ownership between Julien Serre, Deputy Director of Peace, Stability and Security of Expertise France and Mrs Karigithu representing the JOC in presence of European Commission representative and CRIMARIO team.
The coastal network includes transponders installed at 4 remote sites and integrated into one central system based at Mombasa Port. The system is capable of integrating existing national AIS and other data sources if Kenya wish to expand the network capability in the future. Each site is connected to a main data centre located in Mombasa Port where the information feeds are processed by the JOC who coordinate the maritime surveillance and operations at sea. The system was designed by ELMAN Srl and installed by ELMAN and a local contractor, Amiran. The provision of the AIS project was managed and implemented by EU CRIMARIO project.
The Joint Operations Centre, hosted by Mombasa Port, was inaugurated in 2017 to coordinate multi-agency maritime border operations. According to the Principal Secretary Mrs Nancy Karigithu
“the JOC enables direct intervention and interdiction of the crimes as there is no blue economy if there is no maritime security”.
See the article published by the Star: EU Sh3 billion to boost maritime security, fight drugs
The AIS launch ceremony was preceded by the closing event of CRIMARIO project attended by around 50 senior officials, and practitioners from the wide Indian Ocean region: the 5 partner countries (Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles), western Indian Ocean and South East Asia countries (Djibouti, India, Indonesia, Japan, Maldives, Malaysia, Somalia, Thailand).
Before the handover ceremony, the participants had the chance to take part to a presentation and a visit of the port of Mombasa that allows to understand and measure the major trend of modernisation of one of the largest and busiest East African port. As explained, the ongoing expansion of the Mombasa port with additional berths and container terminals will dramatically increase its container handling capacity and the volume of transit. Latest data from the Kenya Port Authority showed that Mombasa registered container traffic has a rate of increase of 8,6% from 2009 to 2018.