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.

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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.”

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