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Crew Connect Global Conference & Exhibition

Nancy W. Karigithu
Advisor and Special Envoy for Maritime and Blue Economy, Executive Office of the President at State Department for Shipping and Maritime, Kenya


Amb. Karigithu is Kenya’s Special Envoy for Maritime and Blue Economy and the immediate former Principal Secretary (PS), State Department for Shipping and Maritime Affairs in the Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs. She is presently the Advisor on Blue Economy in the Executive Office of the President. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from the University of Nairobi and a Master’s Degree in International Maritime Law from the IMO International Maritime Law Institute, Malta. Before her appointment as PS she was the first Director General of Kenya Maritime Authority where she served for nine (9) years. She has served as the Chair of the IMO Technical Cooperation Committee for three terms and currently sits on the Board of Governors of the World Maritime University, based in Malmo, Sweden, and the IMO- International Maritime Law Institute. Her work experience spans 39 years, with 35 of them in the maritime industry. Previous work experience includes extensive consultancy for IMO in Africa, the East African Community and the African Union, among others. She championed the setting up and launch of the Association of Women in the Maritime Sector in Eastern & Southern Africa (WOMESA), the first regional body to bring together women professionals in the maritime sector of 26 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, to support the integration of women in the industry. She organized the first ever Heads of Maritime Administrations and Ship Registrars Conference in Africa, which has since transformed into the Association of Maritime Administration in Africa (AAMA). Established pursuant to Article 5 of the African Maritime Transport Charter, AAMA brings together all the Maritime Administrations in Africa to collaborate on issues of capacity building, technology, peer to peer standard setting and information sharing. As the legal expert for the European Union- Critical Maritime Routes Project, she advised on enhancing maritime situational awareness in waters within the Western Indian Ocean and the improvement of safety, security and environmental protection. She recently championed the development of IMO Guidelines for the Prevention and Suppression of Smuggling of Wildlife on Ships Engaged in International Maritime Traffic, adopted during the 46th Session of the IMO FAL Committee in May 2022. Amb. Karigithu has championed the decarbonization of maritime and shipping in Africa and until recently, Chaired the Steering Committee of the MTCC-Africa, 2 established through an EU/IMO partnership, aimed at capacity building for the reduction of green-house gas emissions from the continent’s shipping sector In November 2018, the African Union Chairperson nominated Amb. Karigithu as Africa’s Woman of the Year in for her work in the Blue Economy and in recognition of her distinguished service to the international maritime sector, the World Maritime University bestowed her with an honorary fellowship in November, 2019.