A GLITTERING MARITIME CAREER
NANCY KARIGITHU / PS IN CHARGE OF SHIPPING AND MARITIME AFFAIRS She championed the formation of the Women in the Maritime Sector of East and Southern Africa Association, to cater for the interests of female professionals in the maritime industry.
Nancy Karigithu’s experience in public service spans over 30 years, but she is still looking out for her career high point.
“I am still working on it,” says the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure’s Principal Secretary for Shipping and Maritime Affairs when asked what she considers to be her biggest achievement in the Civil Service.
“I walked away from a thriving legal practice to answer a calling to serve my country.”
As an international maritime law practitioner and consultant, her duties included advising governments in strengthening of maritime administrations in Africa.
“Back then World Maritime Day was observed in Kenya by seafarers protesting lack of Whitelisting (and therefore loss of jobs). It challenged me to make the change I already knew was needed. The journey continues.”
But her resume bursts at the seams with all manner of achievements and successes.
Nancy is by far the finest role model for females who are looking for a career in the maritime sector.
Founder and former Director General of the Kenya Maritime Authority, Nancy has taken the lead to integrate women into mainstream maritime activities.
She championed the formation of the Women in the Maritime Sector of East and Southern Africa Association, to cater for the interests of female professionals in the maritime industry.
“It has been instrumental in allowing women in Kenya’s maritime sector to act as mentors and role models to Kenyan girls and that way pave the way for the next crop of maritime women,” she says of the association.
The International Maritime Organisation has a special programme for the integration of women in the maritime sector. So what is Admiralty Law? “Admiralty governs maritime issues and offences, covering both substantive and procedural matters,” she explains.
One of the unique attributes of the law is providing for the arrest of ships while within a nation’s waters.
This branch of law combines both the national law governing maritime activities and private international law governing diverse issues like shipping, marine insurance, ship ownership, navigation, seafarers’ employment and welfare and the transportation of passengers and goods by sea.
Nancy says that although Kenya has legislation governing merchant shipping, its admiralty law needs special attention.
Kenya’s admiralty jurisdiction imports the laws for the time being applicable in England.
“ADMIRALTY GOVERNS MARITIME ISSUES AND OFFENCES, COVERING BOTH SUBSTANTIVE AND PROCEDURAL MATTERS.”